The Learning Exchange (TLE) community family literacy project funded through the Programme d’action communautaire sur le terrain de l’éducation (PACTE) from the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports was a HUGE success.
Starting last October 2018, in collaboration with key partners, The Learning Exchange (TLE) implemented TLE’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten reading program in the community. This project will targeted English-speaking families and parents/caregivers to support the development of language and literacy skills of families to help their young children develop language skills and learn the early literacy skills needed for success in school.
Developing Pre-Reading Skills
Studies have shown that children who enter kindergarten with essential pre-reading skills have an advantage. They start school ready to read and have greater success throughout their school years. Children who enter kindergarten performing below their peers can suffer the effects of falling behind, which can be devastating to a child. Reading regularly with young children supports brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships. Reading aloud with children is the single most important activity to prepare children to learn to read because they will build awareness of phonemes, language, literacy and social skills. Reading together provides an opportunity for bonding and creating lifelong memories. By reading together parents and caregivers are teaching their children “how a book works”, growing their vocabulary and instilling a love of reading. It benefits the family as a whole because it involves them in their children’s early education and develops literacy within the family unit.
The concept of the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten was to encourage, motivate, challenge and support families and children to read 1000 books before a child enters kindergarten. Reading regularly will expose children to a large variety of text which in turn, exposes them to a wide range of vocabulary and stories. The program is self-paced and can take anywhere from a few months to a few years depending on how often you read together. Parents can read anything their child enjoys! This approach empowers families as first educators, builds strengths and offers fun and creative family literacy moments.
Source: 1000 Books Foundation, 2018
Through the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative TLE encouraged, motivated and supported families to read 1000 books to their children before kindergarten through presentations, workshops, parent meet ups and social media. TLE distributed 1000’s of free books to families, promoted the Laval Advantage card and ensured greater access to a collection of high-quality English children’s books through collaboration with the Laval libraries and the distribution of library book boxes within the community. Parents were given the tools, resources and information to increase their level of comfort in dealing with literacy in the home environment. This approach empowers families as first educators, builds upon strengths and offers fun and creative family literacy moments for the whole family.
A TLE family literacy community initiative: