Building little readers in Puerto Rico
Collaboration between Rotary and Head Start builds a better future for pre-school children in Puerto Rico. Rotary Districts 7000 and 6990 initiated a literacy project that has been supported by The Rotary Foundation to provide Souns® literacy materials to 135 Head Start classrooms in the San Juan Municipality.
This yearlong literacy project included a distribution of materials in October 2012, and concluded with a distribution in January 2013. The total of 135 sets of materials are currently in the classrooms, with each teacher participating in training for the use of those materials. Enthusiasm is typical with teachers implementing the Souns program, as it is hands-on, engaging, simple, and effective. “Children love it!” is an exclamation heard often. When asked, “Why? Because they are actually learning!”
It is estimated that the Souns materials distributed thus far will impact 2000 children each year, as there are no expendables in the program.
This is a good start, but the goal is to reach all Head Start children in Puerto Rico. Most immediately that means supplying the remaining 90 classrooms in the San Juan Municipality with Souns materials. Following that will be an effort to expand the program into other Head Start programs in Puerto Rico as funding is secured.
Rotary and Head Start celebrate the positive results seen from the classrooms receiving the Souns materials in the first stage of the project in October. The teachers are excited to see their children reading ready with letter-sound knowledge.