Dallas County Teacher is a Class Act

"We would like for our students to leave Southside Primary a proficient, successful reader by second grade and not third," says Dallas County teacher Allison Kelley. While the state wants students to read on grade level by the third grade, she's setting her sights higher. She's willing to put in the work to help the whole school succeed.

Southside principal Patricia Redd says, "she works with teachers as the reading coach and she works with students who need some extra assistance in reading. She helps to get materials for the teachers to use in their classroom."

Kelley attends regular workshops where teachers learn the latest innovations in reading development. "We work on vowel sounds, long and short, work on blends, digraphs, diphthongs and she assists in all of that," says second grade teacher Grace Johnson.

Kelley says kids can never be over-exposed to books. So she applies for grants that bring more books into the school. She feels reading is similar to an athletic contest, with the faculty as the coaching staff. "As the coach we make out the plays with the assistant coaches, and these (students)are our players that we model with and use and teach and hopefully we win," Kelley says.

Through the Selma Charity League Kelley has served as a big sister and a tutor at the Methodist Children's Home.