This is a project for family/parent awareness and education with regard to the importance of promoting early literacy in the home. "Let's Read Together!" consists of three strategies to emphasize the importance of exposing children to literacy activities at an early age. The first strategy is to provide two three-hour workshops for childcare professionals for the providers participating in this initiative. The second strategy includes on site observations. The third strategy provides parents with a two-hour family literacy workshop with subsequent literacy projects.
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- "Let's Read Together!" will provide two three-hour workshops for childcare providers working in the nine sites that will participate in this initiative.
- The two workshops are also part of the "Path to Professionalism," and all Seminole County providers will be invited.
- The workshops will be held on a weeknight or on Saturday during the second month of the quarter.
- A librarian will be the guest speaker at one of the workshops, discussing criteria used to determine quality children's books.
- During these two, three-hour training workshops, topics that will be discussed are:
- Phonological awareness
- The development of meaningful partnerships
- In each workshop, the topic will be addressed in the context of appropriate strategies used to teach to young children, realistic expectations of a child's performance ability and the avoidance of specific teaching methods.
- The provider's responsibility to the parent initiative will be to carry out simple family oriented projects with the children. Examples will be presented and shared during the providers' workshop.
Family Literacy Workshop and Projects
- Provide parents with a two-hour family literacy workshop and subsequent literacy projects to engage in with their children.
- Host a parent workshop at each participating center to discuss the importance of the parent as the child's first and most important teacher.
- Ask centers to provide a light dinner and childcare supervision during the parent workshop.
- Cover topics that include strengthening family involvement in early literacy and provide tools for families to enhance their children's' reading achievement.
- Introduce a "Take Home Bags" project where one parent in each class takes home a canvas activity bag each weekend and completes the literacy activities in the bag with their child. The bags will have the "Let's Read Together!" tag line in addition to the Early Learning Coalition logo.
- Include a list of books available from the public library that relate to the bag's theme.
- Collaborate with the public library to place certain books on hold for the parents to check out and speak to families on how to choose a good book.
- Encourage parents to write about their family's experiences with "the bag" in a journal that will be provided and returned for the next parent to use.