Why are words the #1 way to fight education inequality?
By Lauren Martin - Executive Director
Since 2014, Word Rebel has empowered parents living in poverty to make literacy part of their child's daily routine.
In 2014, I was a high school special education teacher with students reading 4 - 6 years below grade level. I realized only 1 in 10 truly had a learning disability; The rest had a vocabulary deficit. I researched the most effective vocabulary interventions only to find that high school and even elementary school is too late to intervene because the vocabulary gap begins before preschool. The average child born into poverty starts preschool knowing just 500 words, while their affluent peers know 1,100. This 600-word-deficit becomes a 15,000-word-deficit by 10th grade.
I was teaching 21-year-old seniors who had experienced 18 years of academic injustice. I could keep teaching or I could reach students before they were misclassified with disabilities.
I founded Word Rebel on the belief that - despite limited time and resorces - low-income families could give their children the same opportunities as affluent families. Since 2014, you have helped make this possible - raising nearly $32,000 to donate over 8,000 books.
In 2019, families will once again enjoy a shipment of best-selling books. They will also receive an entire year of weekly eBooks, literacy videos and evidence-based strategies - proven to increase childhood vocabulary and literacy skills in just minutes a day.
Thank you for joining me and my 20 daycare partners to launch our fifth year building home libraries and a culture of literacy in thousands of homes throughout New York City.
Please accept our deepest gratitude for helping us close the preschool readiness gap one child at a time.
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