Importance of Early Childhood Reading/Education
Children are constantly learning, right from birth. The experiences they have daily help to shape a foundation for their mental development and growth for years to come. This is our greatest opportunity and our greatest weakness.
United Way of Hays County has brought the Born Learning/Born to Read program to Hays County in order to better prepare our children for success in learning, and in life. Every day babies, toddlers and preschoolers are exposed to new sounds, words, colors, shapes and objects. Little ones need a steady relationship with caregivers to help them learn and thrive. Nurturing and developing young minds is essential to preparing them to enter school ready to succeed.
In 2010, a study conducted by the Central Texas Guide for School Readiness and the E3 Alliance, found that only 52% of children in Central Texas enter Kindergarten equipped with the knowledge and readiness to succeed in school. The same study found that a staggering only 48% were equipped with "emerging literacy skills," which include skills such as identifying letters, identifying the correct sounds for letters, and recalling story themes.
The learning and experiences that children engage in before entering school are not only crucial to preparing them for years of success, but also aid in assessing any learning deficiencies a child might encounter down the road.
The Importance of Reading
"Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 - 4 times more likely to drop out in later years." -National Adult Literacy Survey, (1002) NCES, U.S. Department of Education
Reading with young children is an easy way to connect with them and teach them invaluable words and language skills. Books with pictures and age-appropriate words hold a young child's attention, and adding sound effects of funny voices can make reading time even more special.
Developing reading skills at an early age exposes children to words, ideas and text before entering school.
Infants begin learning from birth. Newborns and babies learn new sounds and sights daily, and are especially keen on hearing a mother, parent, or caregiver's voice. Talking, reading, singing and cooing with your baby often can provide the comfort and stimulation she needs.
Toddlers absorb the world around them. Playing, talking and interacting is how toddlers develop socially, emotionally and intellectually. Finding activities to cultivate interactions for child and caregiver is most important to building a comforting environment that is condusive to learning.
Preschool-age children learn numbers and counting, shapes, colors, animals and words that vital to their early education. Playing, talking and engaging youngsters in fun activities that get them thinking and learning before they enter a classroom.