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Archive for the ‘Reading proficiency’ Category

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Want to spread early literacy? Send in a parent. Moms and dads who talk, sing, and read out loud can fill their children’s worlds with engaging, enriching language.

But the challenge for Springfield, Mass., and other cities is figuring out how to reach parents and engage them in sharing a love of language and learning with their children.

To find good ideas on family engagement, the Reading Success by 4th Grade initiative (RS4G), which is backed by The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, did a simple thing: It asked parents.

“Focus groups of parents, and largely moms who participated in one of our three sessions, revealed what we knew: that parents have clearly moved into the digital age,” Sally Fuller writes in a blog post on the Davis Foundation’s Read by Fourth Grade website. “Email, for anyone who has children, is almost recognized as a thing of the past. Moms told us almost universally that their primary engagement with the world comes through social media and texting. The smartphone serves as the communications tool of choice.” (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Washington, D.C, is the “pre-K capital,” “where nearly all 4-year-olds (and most 3-year-olds!) go to school,” according to the online news site LA School Report.

Why does a California-based publication care about Washington, D.C? Because Los Angeles is about to make its own investment in early education.

What makes D.C. a pre-K capital?

“Spurred by a landmark 2008 law, the District enrolls 85 percent or more of its four-year-olds (depending on who’s counting) and an even more remarkable 60-plus percent of three-year-olds.”

So on a Wednesday morning at “the Lincoln Park campus of AppleTree Early Learning, a network of pre-K charter schools,” young students are “nearing the end of a three-week unit on paleontology and archeology.” (more…)

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“How can we use this? How can we get this in the hands of parents, especially when children are little?”

That’s the question education officials in Burlington, Mass., asked about the book “Make Time for Reading,” — by author and early literacy expert Jean Ciborowski Fahey — in a news story produced by local television station BCAT TV. The story features interviews with Burlington School Committee member Kristin Russo and Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce president Rick Parker.

This book was chosen for its unique qualities and design. The pages alternate. The left hand-pages have tips for parents and caregivers about reading to children. And the right-hand pages feature a story that adults can read to children.

The Burlington School Committee is teaming up with the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce to distribute the books to families, according to Superintendent of Schools Eric Conti. Parents of new babies will receive the book while at the hospital or in the mail. So far, roughly 1,000 copies have been given to families. The goal is to distribute a total of 1,500.

It’s a great fusion of books, adults, children, and community action around early literacy.

 

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“You know, I had no idea how to become a better reader,” football player Malcolm Mitchell says in this NFL Network video about his experiences as a college player at the University of Georgia. Last month, Mitchell was drafted by the New England Patriots.

In college, Mitchell knew his reading skills were behind those of his college peers. And he knew that to get better at football, “you practice,” so he decided to practice so he could get better at reading.

Because of an injury in 2013, an ACL tear, he was forced to miss a number of games, which gave him time to read more, the Boston Globe reported last month.

The Boston Herald says that Mitchell’s desire to read “led him to a Barnes & Noble in Athens, Ga., in May 2014. Kathy Rackley was in the same aisle looking for her book club’s newest assignment when Mitchell asked for a recommendation. (more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are teaming up to boost the reading skills of children who live in public housing.

“Housing is a critical platform for a child’s success and nearly four million low-income children are living in HUD-assisted housing,” according to a HUD press release.

A Memorandum of Understanding between HUD and CGLR will “highlight the work being done in up to 25 Public Housing Agencies” to “improve educational outcomes for children…” In addition, HUD will encourage other housing authorities to join this effort. (more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

For the fourth year in a row, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) has honored communities for being “Pacesetters” that promote early literacy among children from low-income families.

Thirty-eight communities earned this honor, including Springfield, Mass.

A CGLR press release explains that these communities lead by example as they “solve one or more of the challenges that can undermine early literacy – school readiness, school attendance and summer learning.”

“Pacesetters are part of a nationwide network of more than 240 Campaign communities, representing 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with 2,100 local organizations (including 130 United Ways and 250 state and local funders). The Campaign communities are dedicated to narrowing the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers.”

Ralph Smith, CGLR’s managing director, adds, “We are very proud of these communities and the numerous organizations and individuals behind them for joining forces and working tirelessly to uplift children and families. They remind us that we are seeing great progress and real results all across the country.” (more…)

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Teacher Jana Dunlap works with Grace Marder, 4, to come up with adjectives to describe a leaf the child found on a nature walk outside the Early Childhood Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Photo: Lillian Mongeau. Photo: The Hechinger Report

Teacher Jana Dunlap works with Grace Marder, 4, to come up with adjectives to describe a leaf the child found on a nature walk outside the Early Childhood Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Photo: Lillian Mongeau, The Hechinger Report

 

“Oklahomans have embraced free, universal early education — and it’s working,” the title of a story from the Hechinger Report declares. (Hechinger is an independent, nonprofit, education news outlet.)

Posted on PBS NewsHour’s website, the story focuses on Clinton, Okla.

“One of the biggest employers in this hardscrabble working class town in western Oklahoma is the Bar-S Foods Company meat packing plant, where many of the city’s 9,500 residents work. Clinton also boasts a Route 66 Museum, a somewhat epic indoor waterpark, and free universal preschool for every 4-year-old in town.

“Ninety-one percent of the town’s 170 4-year-olds enroll in a public program annually, said Tyler Bridges, the assistant school superintendent. About 140 attend the state-supported district preschool while another 15 or so attend the local Cheyenne-Arapahoe Head Start program.” (more…)

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