Alliance is excited to partner with Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities® to offer their new program, Countdown to Kindergarten, that will further ready families for kindergarten by empowering parents and increasing their confidence to promote early literacy and social-emotional skills at home.
Since its inception, Countdown to Kindergarten has enlisted children’s librarians to join with parents to help their children develop pre-literacy and school readiness skills. Reading is the single most important skill children learn in school. In America, one in four children grow up not learning how to read. In CT, 60% of children from low-income families have no books in the home, and 60% of fourth graders are not proficient in reading.
It’s important to start from birth to promote language and communication skills since early childhood is a time of rapid brain development and learning. A critical feature of the program is parent engagement to enhance knowledge, skills and the belief that parents play an important role in promoting children’s readiness for school.
Parents will receive books and materials to use with their child at home to sustain gains made during live or remote sessions. Parents are encouraged to use words to increase their child’s vocabulary, so they don’t lag by kindergarten. Conversations – talking and listening – help children become successful readers.
Purpose: To help parents maximize their child’s success in kindergarten
- Parents are a child’s first teacher and most consistent presence.
- Reading is the single most important skill children learn in school.
- Social emotional skills help a child focus, get along with others, and manage big feelings so they are ready to learn.
Goal: To empower parents and increase their confidence to promote early literacy and social-emotional skills at home.
Structure: A group of parents with their four-year-old children.
Program: Four sessions, approximately 45 minutes each, using books and fun activities. Families will be given books (English & Spanish), alphabet magnets, crayons, and other materials to take home after each session.
- Session 1 – Rhyming & Segmentation
- Session 2 – Sounds and How Books Work
- Session 3 – Writing and the Alphabet
- Session 4 – Feelings