Friday, May 11, 2012

The Literacy Lab, a New Community Partner and Grant Recipient

The Junior League of Washington is proud to announce our newest community partner – as well as grant recipient – is The Literacy Lab, a local nonprofit organization devoted to dramatically increasing the reading levels of low-income children in the District of Columbia. Founded in 2009 by a former DC public school teacher, the organization currently serves over 250 students attending 45 public schools in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland.

The Literacy Lab’s mission is to provide high-quality, targeted reading remediation to low-income students in order to increase their literacy skills, leading to increased academic success and greater opportunities in life. Their experience has shown that students will make progress when they are given quality instruction in a consistent and structured manner. By providing individualized reading instruction which targets fundamental skills, The Literacy Lab's trained volunteers will lead students to higher reading levels and increased confidence, which supports the League's focus of increasing reading skills in children.

The JLW has awarded $25,000 to The Literacy Lab, allowing them to operate the Ready to Read program at DC General Family Emergency Shelter, the largest of Washington, DC’s government-run family shelters, through weekly Parent-Child Literacy Development Workshops. Ready to Read is a critical reading readiness program for families with toddlers and young children ages 0 – 5. The program will deliver a consistent amount of read aloud and print exposure to high-risk homeless children ages 0 – 5, as well as provide homeless parents with a skill set to read with and engage their children in literacy activities from birth onward. Funds will specifically be used to create a lending library housed at the shelter with reading materials and pre-literacy activities for parents and children to use during the workshop and then to check out afterwards for their use during the week.

The Literacy Lab anticipates approximately 250 parents and children (125 families) will be served over the course of the year though the weekly two hour Parent-Child Literacy Development Workshops. For the first hour, parents will participate in a workshop where they will learn an early literacy skill and practice implementing that skill while their children are participating in a read aloud and related read aloud session. For the second hour, the parents and children will reconvene; a healthy snack will be provided, and then parents and children will go through literacy centers together, allowing the parents the opportunity to practice the skills they learned. At the end of the session, the parents will have the option of checking out books and materials. The goals of the program are to increase parents’ skills and knowledge in the area of early literacy development, to provide a print-rich and engaging environment for young children in order to increase their reading readiness and early literacy skills mastery, and to increase access to high-quality reading materials for families living at the DC General Shelter.

The Literacy Lab will use trained JLW volunteers to help implement the Ready to Read program, providing them with a meaningful, manageable, high-impact opportunity on Saturday mornings. Trained volunteers will run the read aloud sessions with the children, which can include reading a story aloud, asking questions, listening to/singing songs with the children, reviewing basic vocabulary and modeling reading habits. During the second hour, volunteers will run the literacy centers, examples which include rhyming, make-believe dress-up, vocabulary puzzles, sound identification, and letter naming. Finally, volunteers will help monitor the lending library and help parents check out books and manipulatives.

If you would like to receive further information about the 2012-2013 grant process, including notice of the application and deadline information, please contact Alicia Lee, Chair, Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee at grantsandvolunteers@jlw.org.

Alicia Lee
Chair, Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee

1 comment:

  1. Teach Your Child to Read Today!

    Reading is one of the most important skills one must master to succeed in life. It helps your child succeed in school, helps them build self-confidence, and helps to motivate your child. Being able to read will help your child learn more about the world, understand directions on signs and warnings on labels, allow them to discover reading as an entertainment, and help them gather information.

    Learning to read is very different from learning to speak, and it does not happen all at once. There is a steady progression in the development of reading ability over time. The best time for children to start learning to read is at a young age - even before they enter pre-school. Once a child is able to speak, they can begin developing basic reading skills. Very young children have a natural curiosity to learn about everything. They are naturally intrigued by the printed texts they see, and are eager to learn about the sounds made by those letters. You will likely notice that your young child likes to look at books and thoroughly enjoys being read to. They will even pretend to behave like a reader by holding books and pretend to read them.

    At what age can you start teaching a child to read? When they're babies? At 2 years old, 3, 4, or 5 years old, or wait until they're in school?

    If you delay your child's reading skill development until he or she enters school, you are putting your child at risk...

    Did you know that 67% of all Grade 4 students cannot read at a proficient level! According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, of those 67%, 33% read at just the BASIC level, and 34% CANNOT even achieve reading abilities of the lowest basic level!

    There is a super simple and extremely effective system that will even teach 2 and 3 year old children to read.

    This is a unique reading program developed by two amazing parents and reading teachers, Jim and Elena, who successfully taught their four children to read before turning 3 years old. The reading system they developed is so effective that by the time their daughter was just 4 years 2 months old, she was already reading at a grade 3 level. They have videos to prove it.

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    Their reading system is called Children Learning Reading, and it is nothing like the infomercials you see on TV, showing babies appearing to read, but who have only learned to memorize a few word shapes. This is a program that will teach your child to effectively decode and read phonetically. It will give your child a big head start, and allow you to teach your child to read and help your child develop reading skills years ahead of similar aged children.

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    This is a reading program that requires you, the parent, to be involved. But the results are absolutely amazing. Thousands of parents have used the Children Learning Reading program to successfully teach their children to read.

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