About the Institute

The ELITE (Excellent Literacy Instruction to Empower) Institute is a summer program designed for K-5 teachers and students in Fort Worth ISD. The institute will enrich teachers’ current knowledge of best practice of reading and writing in a vibrant learning environment. Teachers will thrive through hands-on application, collaboration with each other, and self-reflection regarding their philosophy of teaching and learning. Students will work with individual teachers and engage in the literacy strategies learned through ELITE and decrease students’ literacy summer slide.


  • Teachers will spend part of their day on the beautiful college campus of Texas Wesleyan University, surrounded by other professionals passionate about literacy.

  • Teachers will engage in and improve their reading and writing processes.

  • Teachers will learn and apply new strategies for teaching reading and writing.

  • Teachers will participate in strategies for instructing culturally and linguistically diverse students.

  • Teachers will be immersed in exciting children’s literature and mentor texts for writing.


Bonus! If an ELITE teacher chooses to enroll in an M.Ed. program at Texas Wesleyan, their application fee will be waived.


The ELITE Institute is a partnership between Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth ISD, and Fort Worth Sparc.

Stop the Summer Slide!

Students have the opportunity to work with Dr. Anderson, Dr. Dryden, and local teachers this summer at Texas Wesleyan University in a summer reading clinic. The objectives for students include


  • Participating in a reading & writing workshop

  • Reading high-interest, quality literature

  • Developing an appreciation for reading and writing through engaging activities

  • Writing for various purposes and audiences


The Asthma 411 program was designed to decrease 911 calls on campuses, increase children’s ability to detect asthma attacks and ask for treatment early.  Asthma 411 demonstrated: decreased absences by treating asthma on campus early and often. The initial studies demonstrated a 51% decrease in absences associated with asthma.  Extrapolated to the entire Fort Worth ISD, Asthma 411, could reduce absenteeisms and increase total district revenue by $500,000. Asthma 211 is the program to manage asthma in the OST arena, in schools proficient in the Asthma 411 program.

Steps Taken:

  1. Asthma 211 was written in 2016

  2. The program was funded in Spring 2017 with a grant from University of North Texas Health Science Center's (UNTHSC) Incedo

  3. Fort Worth ISD Health Services supported 10 elementary campuses to pilot Asthma 211

  4. Students must be enrolled in Asthma 411 to participate in Asthma 211

  5. All OST faculty are trained by the school nurse on the utilization of a nebulizer for treatment of exacerbations of asthma requiring treatment

  6. We have found that FWISD nurses called 911 on 21 instances for respiratory distress over the 2017-18 school year.  There were no calls for respiratory distress on the Asthma 211 campuses during the spring of 2018.

  7. We have observed students asking for treatment earlier in the course of their asthma and thus requiring less intensive interventions.  In other words, students are managing their disease successfully.

  8. In the end, we all know, a student who successfully manages their asthma has stronger attendance and academic performance.


Increasing Youth Supports During and After School

The INTERSECTIONS program is an original program written by FW SPARC for Fort Worth youth and is the sole program of its nature in the United States. The original work was fully sponsored by The North Texas Community Foundation Toolbox Grant with $15,000. The initial agreement provided funding for one semester, however, the results were so promising during the Spring 2017 pilot, FW SPARC extended the program from the D. McRae Elementary pilot, to T.A. Sims Elementary, Western Hills Elementary and Western Hills Primary for the fall of 2017.  

The full semester results Fall 2017 Intersections Academic Comparative impressed our faculty and administrators to engage the program throughout the 2017-18 academic year on all three campuses.  Outcomes measures for students are: On Time Attendance, Academic Classroom Grades, Behavior. Outcomes measures for faculty are:   Increased Communication with parents, Increased positive communication regarding students between teachers and parents, Increased communication between ISD faculty and out of school time faculty regarding students.  Our students within the Intersections protocol were also interviewed on their expectations and experiences in the out of school time classroom.

Intersections was developed to build continuity of care on a campus between the faculty who teach each student daily and their out of school time faculty.  These faculty are simply on parallel paths and rarely spoke. With the advent of Intersections, this relationship has blossomed. Faculty members are handing off students to their out of school time counterparts, and have possibly already text messaged, phoned or emailed them about specific direction for assisting their student.  

The results are astounding:  

  1. Students enjoy faculty speaking about them with each other.  Students notice the conversations are in a manner directed for assistance and success vs in a punitive manner

  2. Faculty enjoy the success of the coordinated efforts, as students are returning to class well prepped.  Faculty during the day are reviewing the prior day’s assignments, instead of completely reteaching.  This lends itself to total classroom progress through the Curriculum.

  3. Numbers of students participating in out of school time increased, thanks to the Intersections program.  Good news travels fast and parents enrolled their children, after hearing the positive share of voice regarding Clayton Youth Enrichment and Intersections.

  4. Campus administrators and faculty have noticed that student behavior in out of school time has improved, and this has carried over into the classroom during the day.

  5. The program costs nothing to administer, can be replicated on any campus, utilized as a component of the campus turnaround plan and has proven itself in three schools with serious challenges.  Those challenges are: mobility, behavior, overage/undercredit and high ACE scores in students. 


Out-of-school-time (OST) programs include before-school, after-school, summer, weekend and holiday programs, which are known to promote academic improvement, social development and mental health.

© 2020 Fort Worth SPARC.