One Leap For Literacy

What can eight months do for literacy in a Head Start Center? Combine a furiously determined Center Director and a local Rotary Club and children will read! The Rotary Club of Thomasville, GA, and their local Head Start Center have joined in the work of literacy.

Nine classrooms – including three Early Start classrooms – began training in the Souns program in October of 2011. Several follow-up visits occurred between October and May to observe how the work was going. During the last week of school, each of the students age-appropriate to be graduating into local kindergartens were evaluated to see progress made. The results are below. It is not surprising that they reflected a direct link between those who followed the program and those who did not. The teacher is the magic that makes any program work.

This center has an abundance of remarkable teachers working with their children. After this year’s success, we expect all the teachers will see the value of this simple program for their children. It is understandably difficult to accept a program that is counterintuitive. We have been so steeped in teaching letter-names first, that the idea of teaching letter-sounds first causes resistance. Thanks to those teachers who stepped outside the box in Thomasville, children will read. The results are quite clear. Consider the data at this year’s end, when those little four year olds who are going into their second year with this program are evaluated.

We smile with tears in our eyes at what is happening in southwest Georgia. Determined people working together can make a difference. Thank you, Rotary!

Every – Yes, every – child will read.

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