Tag Archives: program

Please support the Reach Out and Read program

By State Rep. Vincent Pedone

Early childhood is the most important time during a person’s life, and as parents we have a responsibility to provide our children with the best possible education during these formative years.

Language skills, in particular, are developed at a very young age. It is proven that children who begin school with strong language skills will be better students. Unfortunately, 34 percent of American children today enter kindergarten lacking the basic language skills they need to learn to read. It is crucial, then, that we improve our home learning environment to ensure that our children are ready to learn when they enter school.

Reach Out and Read is a non-profit, Massachusetts-founded organization that addresses this necessity and helps prepare our children to succeed in school. Started by pediatricians and early childhood educators, this highly successful public-private program encourages parents to read aloud to children and make a difference in their developmental skills.

15 Worcester hospitals, clinics and doctor offices participate in Reach Out and Read, and our community has witnessed the benefits. Through these programs, doctors and nurses go beyond standard medical care procedures and advise parents on how to read to children at each developmental stage. Pediatricians give patients a book to take home every time they visit to encourage parents to make reading aloud a routine activity at home.

The impact is significant, and the cost is minimal. Children served by Reach Out and Read score significantly higher on vocabulary tests and enjoy a six-month developmental gain in their preschool years. It also encourages parents to take an active role in their child’s education. And since doctors and nurses volunteer their time with Reach Out and Read, the only primary expense is the cost of the children’s books. Continue reading Please support the Reach Out and Read program

Early Literacy: a great prevention program

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

Early literacy is an essential component of academic success All across America children are entering school without the necessary basic early literacy skills for lifelong success. According to research, the early years are the time when a child’s brain undergoes the most growth and development. The developing brain triples in the first year of life and is fully formed by the time the child enters kindergarten. This period is essential to set the stage for future learning. Early literacy is regarded as the single best investment for enabling children to develop skills that will likely benefit them for a lifetime.

According to Dr. Melinda Boone, school superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools, the schools in Worcester have begun an early literacy initiative to prepare all children in the city to be reading-ready when they begin their education in our schools. Research has taught us that learning to read and write can start at home long before children go to school. If you have read my past columns, you know how important reading aloud is in developing the learning of all children. It’s essential that mothers, fathers, grandparents and caregivers begin to prepare children to become eager readers by using a few simple strategies from the time that the child comes home from the hospital. Continue reading Early Literacy: a great prevention program