January of 2002, Assistant Commissioner Gordon MacInnes, with
the support of Commissioner William Librera and the Governor,
re-iterated student achievement as the primary mission of the
Abbott Division. The initial efforts, consistent with scientifically
based research, focused on early literacy in preschool through
third grade. These endeavors developed into Early Literacy, an initiative that became the driving force of the Office
of Urban Literacy.
Early Literacy is designed to close the achievement
gap between New Jersey's urban and suburban districts. The principles
of Early Literacy adhere to the Scientifically Based Reading Research (SBRR),
process writing, and the six components of reading (phonemic
awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and motivation & background
knowledge). Early Literacy is inclusive of all populations (bilingual/English
as a Second Language - ESL, and special needs) impacting all
primary schools in the 31 districts receiving Abbott
funding, and serving as a source of guidance to others.