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The purpose of this article is to describe the impact of the initial phase of a long-term inservice program aimed at restructuring one elementary school's literacy program. It focuses on observed changes that occurred as teachers became active participants in staff development sessions designed around effective change principles. Fannin Elementary School in Grand Prairie, Texas, is a multi-eth nic, urban elementary school situated in a neighborhood changing from lower middle socioeconomic status to low socioeconomic status. Nearly seventy percent of the children enrolled in the school qualify for free or reduced lunch. At least half of the population is non-English speaking and comprised of first generation immigrants from Latin America and Mexico. During the past two years, informal discus sions among the Fannin principal, teachers, and other dis trict personnel had focused on whole language approaches to literacy instruction for meeting the changing needs of Fannin's student population. Traditional skills-based instruction was proving inadequate in meeting the needs of these students.

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