Family Support Council of Douglas County: Literacy begins at home

Literacy is an important and vital part of any child looking to strive in school. Developing the foundation for literacy and school success needs to be laid during the early years of a child's life - the years before children start formal schooling. This is the time when young children develop the skills and attitudes needed to be successful. Parents, caring adults, and community programs are all vital in providing opportunities for the child to develop these skills.

According to a national survey, teachers reported that 35 percent of kindergarteners were not ready for school. This is due to poor literacy and learning skills that were developed in the early years of the child's life. These children often struggle in school from day one, putting themselves at risk for future grade retention, school failure and dropout, delinquency and running away, as well as unemployment and underemployment in adulthood. Wanting the best for the child, how do parents promote the development for literacy and school readiness skills in the home, before the child starts kindergarten?

There are many programs in the community and that can be used in the home that can motivate a child to develop literacy and schooling skills which will ready them for formal schooling. The most important thing a parent can do is to be a good example and read with their child. Getting their child involved and excited when reading books together will not only open the child's imagination, but it will motivate them to read books more often and challenge themselves to read other books. In addition to helping their child to be ready for school, parents are also creating a bond with their child, which is crucial in maintaining a successful parent/child relationship.

With all of the children's stories, educational television programs, libraries and community programs, there is no reason why a child should be left behind on the educational spectrum. By making sure that a child has access to all of the educational options out there, parents can help their child be successful in the future when they go to formal schooling.

Family Fun Day and Open House

Save Saturday, May 20, for the Family Support Council of Douglas County's Family Fun Day and Open House. There will be plenty of activities for you and your child to participate in. For details or any parenting questions or concerns, call the support council at 782-8692.

Flower Pots for Kids can be purchased at the Family Fun Day on May 20, and will be available at the Hidden Treasures Antique Thrift Shop after May 20. With each purchase, $4 will go toward children's programs offered by the Family Support Council.

The Family Support Council is funded by private donations as well as grants from The Smallwood Foundation, Nevada Children's Trust and Family to Family Connection.

n Annie Mastrodonato is the Family to Family/Healthy Beginnings coordinator at the Family Support Council of Douglas County.


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