The Raising A Reader (RAR) family engagement and literacy program will be provided to 40 families with pre-school age children from Fall 2011 through Spring 2012. LDA’s program will provide books to children through book bag rotation, provide classroom libraries, conduct parent trainings on early literacy and the importance of reading, the power of shared literacy experiences, such as “book cuddling”, host family literacy events, and establish connections for families to local libraries.
More than one-third of American children enter kindergarten without the basic language skills they will need to learn to read. Lack of reading materials in homes contributes to this crisis. 61% of families living below the poverty line do not have a single book in their home. This project will provide books and literacy training to children and their parents in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis, where unemployment rates are nearing 15% and 48% of families live below the poverty line.
Families living in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis face many life challenges. This diverse neighborhood is home to many languages and cultures including Latino, Somali, African American, and American Indian. LDA’s program reaches out to families through the Parents in Community Action Headstart program site in Phillips. Already, 20 families with pre-school age children participate each year in Raising A Reader. Our goal is to expand this number to 60.
This project will provide books and early literacy programming to 60 high-risk children that has proven it can close achievement gaps so children can enter school prepared and ready for a lifetime of success.