Reading-2-Go brings the library and its resources to young children in informal home care in three languages (English, Spanish, Amharic). These children are not in daycare or preschool so they are at risk for literacy instruction. According to the 2014 Santa Monica Youth Wellbeing Report Card, 16% of children entering Kindergarten in the City of Santa Monica are vulnerable or at risk in the area of Learning and Communication skills. * Two community partners, Connections for Children and Community Corp., have assisted helping us find families that meet these criteria. The first year of the program is LSTA grant funded.
Expected benefits of this project are that parents will have:
- Improved access to early literacy materials/information
- Better and frequent contact with library staff and a better understanding of library resources and services
- Understanding about the importance of reading aloud and literacy.
Reading-2-Go has four components:
- Early Literacy Kits: Program participants will receive a semi-monthly delivery of themed early literacy kits with books, music, toys and activities.
- Welcome Meetings: Using the kits, children’s librarians demonstrate through the direct modeling of storytimes so that parents can replicate early literacy techniques with their preschoolers at home.
- Texting Literacy Tips to Parents: The project will implement a new communication model of directly texting parent’s early literacy tips. Based on the recent Stanford University study and pilot program with the San Francisco Unified School District of texting early literacy tips regularly over an extended period of time, this quick, user friendly technique has been shown to work and influence parent behavior to take action every day.
- Home Libraries: At the end of the program, a small library of books and a bookshelf are given to the family.
Outcomes will be collected in late June and early July 2016. Initial results are showing dramatic changes in the family’s approach to literacy and reading with their children.
*This data comes directly from the EDI (Early Development Instrument), a community school readiness assessment conducted by Kindergarten teachers each year. The EDI is sponsored by Santa Monica Cradle to Career, a collective impact initiative of the City of Santa Monica.