Childhood literacy crisis
It may be hard to believe but 65 percent of fourth graders read at or below the basic level. Kate was a reader from early on and loved reading throughout her life. That isn't the story for most. Our Little Free Library project continues to grow and we are looking at collaborating with other groups as well. On this day, the 3rd anniversary of her passing, we are pleased to announce our next project on literacy. Kate (Kids Activities To Empower) Packs will include two new books, a new toy or game to support the book, and a resource guide for other activities and experiences to help guardians, parents, teachers interact with children around the books.
Kate would develop “units” or multiple activities around a central theme that her kids were interested in learning about. Many were child-led allowing for independent exploration, choice of activity and engagement. This has become the inspiration for our next literacy project.
The greatest amount of brain growth occurs between birth and age five. By age 3 roughly 85% of the brain’s core structure is formed. We know from research and experience that reading is fundamental to success and having access to books in the home is a significant factor to academic achievement. The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print. This underlines our commitment to early childhood education and working with organizations serving these populations. Plus, books expand imagination and take you to new places.
We will partner with organizations that serve disadvantaged young children in some way in both St. Louis and Columbia to make the Kate Packs available. Research studies show 80% of preschool and after-school programs serving low-income populations have no age-appropriate books for their children.
We are fortunate to have a team of teachers and educators willing to help us develop the topics, ideas and activities. With the volunteer help we will be able to create these packs for about $20. If you would like to help with this project you may donate here by selecting the donate button at the top.
We know we can't solve the literacy crisis but it takes thousands of literacy efforts around the country to make a dent in this crisis we face. Thank you for considering to help fill the literacy gap.
National Center for Education Statistics. The Nation’s Report Card: A First Look: 2013 Mathematics and Reading. http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ subject/publications/main2013/pdf/2014451.pdf; “Lifetime Effects: The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study Through age 40.” Ypsilanti, MI: High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, 2005; Newman, Sanford, et all. “American’s Child Care Crisis: A Crime Prevention Tragedy”; Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2000; Neuman, Susan B., et al. Access for All: Closing the Book Gap for Children in Early Education. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 2001.