Though most of Amanda Alexis's second graders at Curtis Guild Elementary School in East Boston are recent immigrants to the United States—with a wide variety of nationalities, family lifestyles and economic backgrounds—she helps them all develop their English reading and writing skills quickly and with proficiency. By implementing a balanced literacy workshop model and enriching it with phonics, word study and other strategies, Ms. Alexis has achieved impressive results. Her students typically gain an average of six reading levels from September to January, and almost all of her students score at the proficient or advanced level in writing. As the school's in-house English/Language Arts (ELA) coach, Ms. Alexis leads and facilitates collaborative peer coaching and common planning time sessions. She takes the time to build strong ties between her classroom and her students' homes, making special arrangements to meet with working parents and explain their children's progress. Her highly effective instruction has undoubtedly helped many of her newly immigrant students—and their families—feel right at home.