What is the Literacy Program and why is literacy important?
The Literacy Program serves over 1,500 Pre-K through 6thth grade children in a total of 16 schools, social service, and health agencies. An average of 35 adults read with over 100 children per week during the school year to help them improve their reading skills. Last summer volunteers read with children Tuesdays – Thursdays in the 6-week summer academy program at N. Baker School.
We will give children up to 3,000 free books this year! Students pick out books twice per year to keep. Social service and health agencies distribute the books to their clients.
The National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) reports that “children need lots of opportunities to: build spoken language by talking and listening; learn about print and books; learn about the sounds of spoken language (phonological awareness); learn about letters; be read to and read on their own; learn and use letter-sound relationships (phonics); develop their ability to read naturally (fluency); learn new words (vocabulary); and build their ability to understand what they read (comprehension).”
How does the Literacy Program operate?
The literacy coordinator works with school principals to set up the reading schedules, recruit and schedules the volunteers, write grants, and purchase books. The coordinator reports to the BCCLC board quarterly. Funds are obtained through private foundations, businesses, service clubs, private donors, and book fairs. We believe in supporting the local economy, so we purchase most of the books through a local book store.