Parents are a child’s first teachers and most important advocates. Our community supporters also play a critical role in helping to raise aspiring young readers.
Learn what you can do to ensure children in your home and community reach the critical milestone of third-grade reading proficiency by clicking each of the ideas below.
Read, speak, and sing to your child. The more you engage your child with words and books, the better chance they have to learn to read well. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that parents start reading to children at birth. For tips on how to engage your child, see the following resources:
Read books to your child that matches his or her reading level and interests. When children have access to books that match their ability and topics of interest, they are more likely to feel motivated and challenged.
Ensure your child is developing on pace. Problems with vision and hearing or developmental delays can keep your child from learning to read. Be sure your child sees a primary care physician for regular check-ups and meets developmental milestones.
Find a high-quality preschool or pre-K program that can support your efforts to prepare your child for kindergarten. Pre-K programs help children develop important academic and social skills that give them a strong start to school.
Make sure your child attends school regularly. When children aren’t in school, they miss out on critical reading and math instruction they’ll need to succeed later in school and life. Even in preschool and kindergarten, too many absences correlate with weaker literacy skills.
Get involved with your child’s education. Work collaboratively with your child’s teacher and school to ensure he or she is staying on track.
Ensure your child is learning all summer. Summer is a critical time for ensuring children retain all that they have learned over the school year, so that they’re ready to hit the ground running when school starts again in the fall.
Advocate for more resources. Let your local and state policymakers know that you support expanding programs that have a tangible impact, such as home visiting, preschool, and summer programs so that all Arkansas children can read proficiently by the end of third grade.
Commit to action in your community and do your part for the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading by taking the pledge.