Problem: More than half of NWLA children start kindergarten “not school ready” meaning they lack the vocabulary and basic foundational skills they need to learn, making them remedial students on their very first day of school. And 2500 third grade students are not reading proficiently. Students who start behind, often stay behind.
Goal: Step Forward’s Early Childhood Development and Early Literacy teams are working to improve Kindergarten readiness and early grade literacy through multiple projects such as preschool storyteller volunteers; third grade literacy volunteers; and a public awareness campaign to “read, sing, and talk” to young children to promote early brain growth and language development which are critical to fluency and literacy skills.
Strategic Action Plan: encourage reading and help families build home libraries by establishing Little Free Libraries in locations frequented by families with young children, such as public health units, so that children will have access to books that they may take and keep at home.
CollaborAction: Brad Wren, School-To-Work Coordinator at Caddo Career & Technology Center, is a member of Step Forward’s Workforce Development team. When Brad heard about the Little Free Library project, he volunteered the Carpentry students at CCTC. These students are not only learning valuable woodworking, engineering and construction skills, but are proud to give back to their community by supporting success for younger students. If you have a community group interested in sponsoring a book drive for our Little Free Libraries, please contact Laura Alderman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 318-221-0582.