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Early Literacy

Debbie Mickey is the Regional Early Literacy Specialist (RELS) for State Support Team Region 14. She provides a variety of services to districts in the 5-county region. She works with the Ohio Early Literacy Project, supports districts who need to file Reading Achievement Plans with the Ohio Department of Education, supports districts who want to examine and improve their literacy instruction, and provides professional development and coaching as needed or requested.

Ohio’s Early Literacy Project is a pilot project all over the state of Ohio that focuses on Preschool through Third grade and provides in-depth professional development, including instructional coaching for teachers. There is also support for building and district-level administrators to implement and integrate instructional improvements along with the district’s Ohio Improvement Process work. There is one district from each of Ohio’s 16 State Support Team Regions. Here in Region 14, Fairfield Local School district is participating in the project, along with Highland County Head Start (HCCAO).


Early Literacy Services Available from the State Support Team Region 14 Regional Early Literacy Specialist (RELS)


Facilitation of the Reading–Tiered Fidelity Inventory (R-TFI)

When a district needs to create a Reading Achievement Plan, one step in that process may be to conduct a Reading-Tiered Fidelity Inventory (R-TFI) to ensure the plan is focused on documented strengths and needs of each building. The R-TFI is done by a Building Leadership Team with facilitation by the Regional Early Literacy Specialist (RELS), who has been trained in this process.


Consultation in the creation of a district Reading Achievement Plan (RAP)

District Reading Achievement Plans are public documents, and the state and our communities will hold us accountable. The Regional Early Literacy Specialist (RELS) is also a RAP reviewer for plans from other regions and can read and discuss the district's work and help with revisions before submission of the plan.


Training in the DIBELS Next assessment

The Regional Early Literacy Specialist (RELS) is a trained DIBELS Next trainer and mentor. She can provide training and technical assistance in administering this curriculum-embedded early literacy assessment. She can work with teacher teams to interpret and use the data gained to adjust instruction for greater literacy outcomes.


Training in the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness curriculum

Literacy Resources, Inc. publishes a Phonemic Awareness curriculum for Preschool through Primary grades, based on the research of Michael Heggerty, Ed. D. It is a tightly focused, brief, direct-instruction approach to building phonemic awareness skills. The curriculum is not expensive, and teacher can be quickly trained to use it effectively by the Regional Early Literacy Specialist (RELS). It has proven effective in multiple locations in Ohio and the nation.


Technical assistance with classroom environment and literacy curriculum implementation

Some pre-service teacher preparation programs do not focus time on how to improve the acquisition of early literacy skills. Students grow in literacy at widely varying rates, and some early literacy strategies have proven both necessary and helpful at older grade levels. The Regional Early Literacy Specialist (RELS) would be happy to visit, observe in the classroom, and work with teachers to plan refinements to help with literacy learning.


Debbie Mickey

Debbie Mickey

Regional Early Literacy Specialist (RELS)
Phone: 937-393-1904 ext. 2141
Website: Supporting Your Child's Literacy Growth