Up to third grade, children learn to read; after third grade, children read to learn. —Double Jeopardy, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Early childhood learning prepares children for success in school and in life. It's critical that our kids enter school prepared to learn and succeed and we believe it's up to our entire community to help. Chapter One is here to help support all parents and caregivers who may be challenged to provide enough learning opportunities for young children.
To close the achievement gap for young children in South County by promoting early literacy skills.
The Achievement Gap Begins Early
Children from low-income families hear as many as 30 million fewer words before age four than their more affluent peers. This results in vocabularies that differ by signficiant margins.
1,116 words (professional families)
749 words (working class families)
525 words (low-income families)
Source: Strategies for Children
Recent statistics show that only 63% of third graders in the southern Berkshires are proficient readers. While some students are reading well above average, many are not. We need to do better.
Kids who enter school unprepared can find it difficult to bridge their knowledge gap, which often widens over time. Many of the skills that are valued in employees—problem solving, taking initiative, working with others—are introduced early in life.
Research has demonstrated that $8,000 invested in improving early childhood education produces nearly $800,000 of benefit during the next 65 years of an individual's life.
Early childhood literacy must be a goal for all of us, whether or not we have young children, because the success of our youth affects our economy, crime rates, workforce, good citizenry, and more. Everyone benefits when we invest in all children right from the start.
You Can Help Our Children
Create meaningful conversations with children. Tell personal stories, talk about experiences you have together.
Give a family membership to a museum as a gift.
Create excitement around books and writing.
Offer to send snail mail to kids you know.
Read, sing, play, and talk to the kids in your life.
You Can Help Our Community
Donate books for kids.
Provide books, magazines, and toys in your office for babies, toddlers and up.
Be an advocate for early childhood learning and education.
Talk to friends, family, and co-workers about why early learning matters.
Consider getting involved with Chapter One.
To learn more or get involved, contact:
Amy Taylor, South County Liaison