CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — The Cumberland Valley School District is marking its first full year of teaching “structured literacy.”

Several State lawmakers visited Winding Creek Elementary School on their “Read Across America Day” to learn about the program.

Structured literacy focuses on phonics on the elementary level. The Cumberland Valley superintendent says that this is important to around 1,000 students who did not grow up speaking English as their first language.

“Learning phonics and learning how to make words in English and how sounds work is really important to a lot of our students. Approximately 20% of our students spoke another language in their home when they were born,” said the superintendent of Cumberland Valley, David Christopher.

For the older students, structured literacy focuses on reading about non-fiction topics, including world cultures, space, and the human body.