“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is Youer than You.”― Dr. Seuss
When it is difficult for a family to engage in literacy due to a variety of reasons including the possibilities of poverty and/or the English language translation, there are excellent programs available for support. Today I want to give you two powerful tips that can facilitate and support your child’s advancement in literacy.
Tip One – Even Start http://www2.ed.gov/programs/evenstartformula/index.html
Even Start is a governmental program that hands out grants for supporting family literacy projects in your local area. According to the site, these programs will integrate early childhood education, adult literacy (adult basic and secondary-level education and instruction for English language learners), parenting education, and interactive parent and child literacy activities for low-income families. Parents and their children from birth to age 7 would qualify under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. Teenage parents along with their children from birth to age 7 would also qualify.
Even Start projects focus on early childhood education, adult literacy (instruction for English language learners), parenting education and interactive parent-child literacy events for families. All of these projects operate throughout the year. The Even Start program began in 1988 with an appropriation of $14.8 million. Most recently, Even Start was reauthorized by the Literacy Involves Families Together (LIFT) Act of 2000 and also the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Tip Two – Head Start http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ohs
The Office of Head Start (OHS) is another governmental agency that manages grant funding and oversees local agencies that provide Head Start services. OHS focuses on school readiness of low-income families with children under the age of 5. It does this through education, health, and social services. OHS agencies are responsive to each child and family’s ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.
Here are some excellent OHS facts:
* At the end of the 2011-2012 program year: 95% of Head Start children had health insurance; 96% had a medical home; and 96% had appropriate immunizations.
* Among Head Start preschool-age children, 85% received preventive dental care and 87% have completed a professional dental examination during the 2011-2012 program year.
* Through Early Head Start, more than 16,000 pregnant women received services to support the health and development of their babies in 2012.
* In 2012, 30% of Head Start participants spoke a language other than English at home, representing more than 140 languages.
* In 2012, 12% of Head Start children had disabilities, and 99% of these children received special services.
Head Start History
Lyndon B. Johnson founded Head Start in 1965 as part of his War on Poverty. Since then, Head Start has served over 30 million children and their families in the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Ann Linehan is The Acting Director of Head Start.
Reading to Preschool Children – One of the Most Important Steps Parents Can Do (July 1, 2014) http://www.kobeemanatee.com/reading-to-preschool-children-one-of-the-most-important-steps-parents-can-do/
Harness the Power of Picture Books (July 22, 2014) http://www.kobeemanatee.com/harness-the-power-of-picture-books/
8 Ways Picture Books Meet Young Children’s Needs – Part 1 (July 29, 2014) http://www.kobeemanatee.com/8-ways-picture-books-meet-young-childrens-needs-part-1/
~ Robert Scott Thayer