New Literacy Bugs Fly Into Town
by Allan Appel | Oct 5, 2012 8:13 am
Posted to: Schools
A dozen eager pre-schoolers listened to Schools Superintendent Reggie Mayo read the adventures of Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad. They were among more than two million people trying to break the world record for the number of people reading the same book on the same day
They were also “Jumpstarting” the newest literacy program for the littlest readers in New Haven.
It’s called Jumpstart. A brainy Yalie named Aaron Lieberman began it in his dorm room 20 years ago.
The aim is to use a carefully targeted curriculum, craft and other fun activities related to reading to build home libraries and to get kids ready to read when they enter school.
The now nationwide program is making a gala return to New Haven as 35 Southern Connecticut State students beginning in November will work at two pre-schools, Wexler/Grant and the Dwight School Readiness program housed at Immanuel Baptist Church on Chapel Street.
On Thursday morning Mayo was joined by the tutors, kids,and parents and 48 copies of Lady Bug Girl and the Bug Squad by Jacky Davis and David Soman.
The awareness-raising stunt got two million readers to read the same book last year, through on-line sign ups. This year the aim is to 2.2 million, the program’s site director at Southern, Amanda Gryzkewicz.
The real point is that the very early in their reading lives 48 New Haven kids will now have almost one-on-one-tutoring, with carefully choreographed experiential activities related to the reading, for two hours a week twice a week by carefully trained students.
That’s why the kids made butterflies after reading about some of Ladybug’s friends; Butterfly Boy had caused some trouble at the party.
As part of Jumpstart, the Southern tutors work off their work-study scholarship requirements.
“It’s a coup,” said Gail Corbett who supervises the school system’s six school readiness sites. She said Wexler/Grant and Dwight were chosen because the kids at these locations could most benefit from the intervention.
“You know the research. Urban kids start school with 5,000 words and suburban kids with 20,000.” Without intensive interventions, as kids continue in school, that 15,000 word gap never closes, she added.
“We are trying to bridge that gap,” she said, and let the kids have fun doing it.
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This is great to read.
Reading is so very, very important.
Reading, and motivation, = ball game.
As “Brutus2011” emphasizes, developing an early affinity for reading is crucial. It’s good to know of this new effort involving Jumpstart’s return to New Haven in partnership with SCSU and early childhood educators of the NHPS.
The Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven is an all-volunteer, nonprofit umbrella organization that helps such groups to share information. Its website (much of it with a Spanish translation) is at: http://literacyeveryday.org
This “LiteracyEveryday” site features four main portals through which visitors may wish to get involved: “Get Help”; “Volunteer”; “Donate”; and “Learn More.” The website also includes a calendar and archive for News/Events and a list of Resources. There is a Blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed, as well as a link to YouTube public service announcements.
Upcoming events include the October 13 CollegeCorps canvass (involving New Haven Promise, NHPS, Boost!, and Parent University) and two events on October 17:
2) a “Read by 8” forum sponsored by the Progreso Latino Fund of the Community Foundation, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. (following a 5:30 reception) at Gateway Community College
Additional events in the weeks ahead include a spelling bee on October 26 at UNH to support New Haven Reads.
The Literacy Coalition’s mission is to promote, support, and advance literacy in the region. The Coalition aims to communicate and convene to develop awareness of literacy-related challenges and ways to address those challenges—including by attracting additional volunteers.