Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September Focus: Preparing Pre-K Children for Kindergarten

As children from all over the country are starting their new school year, I want to focus this month on how parents/guardians can prepare their young children for learning how to read in kindergarten.

The kind of support that a child does or does not receive when they are young can greatly affect them for the rest of their school career. Parental/Guardian support is critical in the early years. With that said, socioeconomic status is a major factor in the amount support that children will receive when they are young and as they go through their elementary, middle and high school years. I am an advocate for free resources for all parents/guardians, access to high quality texts, free literacy programs for children and for all educators to be knowledgeable of strategies to help children that come from disadvantaged backgrounds. I also feel as though their are little excuses for parents/guardians [who have the means to provide for their children's basic needs] -- they need to be active in engaging their children in literacy activities.

These startling statistics should have educators, parents and educator stakeholders alarmed:

37% of children arrive at kindergarten without the skills necessary for lifetime learning 1

By the age of 2, children who are read to regularly display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive skills than their peers 2

Across the nation just under half of children between birth and five years old (47.8%) are read to every day by their parents or other family members 3

The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print 4

There are many more statistics on, where I found these. So many compelling statistics. All children deserve good quality books from a young age, time and attention to literacy from adults and literacy support throughout their school career. 

1 - Laundry, S.H. (2005). Effective Early Childhood Programs: Turning Knowledge Into Action. Houston, TX: University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston.

2- Raikes, H., Pan, B.A., Luze, G.J., Tamis-LeMonda, C.S., Brooks-Gunn, J., Constantine, J., Tarullo, L.B., Raikes, J.A., Rodriguez, E. (2006). Mother-child bookreading in low-income families: Correlates and outcomes during the first three years of life. Child Development, 77 (4)

3- Russ, S., Perez, V., Garro, N., Klass, P., Kuo, A.A., Gershun, M., Halfon, N., Zuckerman, B. Reading Across the Nation: A Chartbook (2007): Reach Out and Read National Center, Boston MA.

4- Newman, Sanford et. al. (2000) Americans Child Care Crisis: A Crime Prevention Tragedy, Fight Crime; Invest in Kids.

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