Superintendent says vocabulary project is a building block of thinking

The pilot year of the city’s educational vocabulary project is complete and Superintendent of Shelton schools Dr. Chris Clouet said he’s confident that in time, positive results will show.

Each week, for the past 39 weeks, a word has been distributed to teachers, businesses, doctor’s offices and countless other local outlets all with the purpose of helping the city’s students expand their vocabulary.

“Expanding your vocabulary has a big bearing on how one comports themselves in life and what types of opportunities are open to them,” said Dr. Clouet.

The superintendent said the support from families at home and the variety of outlets across the city are what will make the difference between students seeing new words and grasping or understanding them.

“What the students see is the adults are of a likemind in promoting vocabulary as a building block of thinking,” said Clouet. “I feel great about the Shelton community and the way it supports education and this is a way that people can show their support without having to contribute money or time.”

After setting the bar very high for the project’s pilot year, Clouet said the district will continue and increase its effort to promote the importance of a heightened vocabulary.

“There’s so many words and so little time,” said Clouet. “Phase 2 which will be introduced next year will include a more thematic approach where words are directly related to various careers.”

Clouet said next year’s words will consist of examples such as “journalist,” “pediatrician,” or “dermatologist,” with a distinct purpose in mind.

“That’s to get students to think more deeply about the different kinds of opportunities that might exist for them,” said Clouet. “We want the kids to think about all of their options.”

Various Shelton schools also feature a School Word of the Week, give students extra points for including one of the words in their assignments, and the World Language department translates the word so that kids get the words in English and other languages.

Clouet didn’t disclose how this effort to expand the student’s vocabularies would be measured, but he was confident that the vocabulary project would only have positive effects on the district.