Thoughts on the importance of early literacy programs… And a giveaway!
By Tyler on November 7th, 2011
Every Monday until December 5th, we’ll be posting our thoughts on one of the five key areas Scholastic’s new “Family and Community Engagement” (FACE) team is focusing on to help raise reading achievement: early literacy, family involvement, access to books, expanded learning, and mentoring. And each week we’re giving away books and resources to one winner’s school or charity of choice. Stop by each Monday to enter!
It’s astounding to me when I hear about stats like this:
One out of every three children entering Kindergarten in the U.S. is already behind in his or her literacy skills — lacking basics like an awareness of the letters of the alphabet.
Children from low-income families are in an especially tight spot, where almost four out of five don’t recognize letters of the alphabet when they start kindergarten.
Without access to early childhood programs or resources to help with fundamental learning and literacy development at home, an enormous number of children are forced to play catch up right from the start of their school experience. A disproportionate number of these children come from poor families.
Fortunately, along with these dire statistics, we also have studies that show us what can help close these gaps. According to research done by the Education Commission of the States:
1) Schools matter. Good schools and great instruction can quickly make up for large skill gaps that many children face when they start Kindergarten.
2) Parents can make a huge difference. High-level parenting skills can offset differences in social class for kids in their early years — as long as they have access to basic resources like books and know simple ways to build literacy skills through things like stories and conversations.
One of key things we’re focusing on here at Scholastic is strengthening our relationships with partners like Reach Out and Read, an incredible organization that promotes early literacy through a network of pediatricians and puts millions of books in the hands of low-income families every year. It’s grassroots organizations like Reach Out and Read that help ensure that every child starts learning at birth and is reading for Kindergarten five years later.
Below is a video of Earl Martin Phalen, CEO of Reach Out and Read.
GIVEAWAY: Tell us how you or your community promote Early Literacy, or what ideas you have to promote Early Literacy and family and community engagement by 11:59 PM (ET) on Sunday, November 14, 2011 and you’ll be entered for a chance to win $250 in Board Books. One winner will be randomly selected from eligible entries. Read the official rules here (Giveaway open to U.S. residents only; must be 18 or older to enter.)