When Ashly first arrived at Achievement First Bushwick Elementary in kindergarten, she didn’t speak much English and had not yet learned to read. An English Language Learner whose family emigrated from Mexico, Ashly began meeting four times a week with an ESL teacher who spoke with her in Spanish and helped her learn how to read by sounding out English words. Soon, Ashly had found her favorite book, “Elephant and Piggy,” and was reading three English books and one Spanish book each day.

Last year, Ashly read at an “A” reading level. Now a first grader, Ashly is a proficient reader who has reached the “H” reading level, a seven level increase. She loves writing and art, and she recently encouraged her older sister, Arely, to become a student at the school. Ashly’s latest goal is to improve her reading fluency and reach a second-grade reading level this year.

Favorite aspect of Achievement First: “I like to read and write; it is fun to make pictures in your brain when you are reading. I like the teachers because they teach us a lot and play games with us.”

Proudest moment at Achievement First: “When I first got here, I didn’t know how to read some of the words in my books. I showed hard work because I didn’t skip the tricky words, and I learned all the words by sounding them out and reading them over again.”

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