Thank you to everyone who attended the 2015 Community Breakfast and to those who were there in spirit! We were excited to have the chance to spotlight Emily Schorpp, whose work with area teens earned her the 20th annual Child Advocate of the Year award, as well as Gary Albert, State Farm Agency, recognized as this year’s family-friendly employer.
We were also eager, on this 20th anniversary breakfast, to introduce a new feature—the highlighted ReadyKids story of the year, presented on this occasion by our own Teen Counselor, Lou Hanson, whose very personal account of one special teen underscored just how effective our programming can be.
Director of Virginia’s Department of Juvenile Justice, Andy Block, shared some riveting data (seriously) in his keynote address and Dan Schutte of CBS 19 News was kind enough to stand up and lead the program.
Thanks again to our wonderful community of supporters, partners, team members and staff. We couldn’t do it without you. To anyone who didn’t make it, there will always be next year!
While much of the world is reeling at the news that brain size is directly (and sadly) linked to family income, we here at ReadyKids aren’t that surprised. The connection between early childhood experiences and brain development is well-documented, confirming just how essential early care and learning can be. The study found that, from birth, children of low-income families have less brain surface area than those whose parents are well-off. “We’ve known for so long that poverty and lack of access to resources to enrich the developmental environment are related to poor school performance, poor test scores and fewer educational opportunities,” said Elizabeth Sowell of Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, the study’s senior author, “But now we can really tie it to a physical thing in the brain. We realized that this is a big deal.”
It is a big deal but, thankfully, researchers confirm that there is hope—and that’s where we come in. In our own Home Visiting program, for example, we start working with moms during pregnancy and stick with them for those formative early years, mentoring them through some of life’s trickier moments and providing the materials and support that make all the difference. Other early intervention initiatives, such as Play Partners, STAR Kids and the Parenting Mobile give childcare providers and low-income families important life and learning tools that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Ready to level the playing field? Every gift to ReadyKids helps shrink that gap and opens doors to bright futures for kids.
Read more from our sources:
The Washington Post
We bet you (or someone you know) spends a lot of time reading to little ones. But are you getting the most out of those shared moments? Do you ask your child questions? Prompt a response? Repeat your words? If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, then you’re already halfway there!
Dialogic reading is an evidence-based system, currently being piloted by our Play Partners program, which brings kids deeper into the learning experience. According to the US Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse, dialogic reading interventions have positive effects on oral language. Through this method, children are prompted to contribute to their own learning process, to become the storyteller. It’s all about engaging and interacting–and it works! So, next time you read to your preschooler, why not try out the PEER sequence yourself?
1. Prompt your child to say something about the book,
2. Evaluate your child’s response,
3. Expand your child’s response by rephrasing and adding information to it, and
4. Repeat the prompt to make sure your child has learned from the expansion!
Already an expert at reading to little ones? Click here to get involved in our Play Partners program.