However, building a child’s capacity and love of reading begins long before children are in school. Research shows that the precursor to a child’s ability to read is that the child was read to by others. Therefore, we must encourage parents and caregivers to read to their children. This involves parents, teachers, literacy volunteers, and society as a whole. There are several options for high-quality free and paid options in addition to RIF’s resources. Education.com provides free and paid options with educational resources for use at home and at school, while Smart Exchange gives educators an opportunity to connect with each other, share resources, and save time preparing lessons.
RIF has long recognized the importance that networks of caregivers and volunteers play in driving literacy impacts and child outcomes. To this end, RIF also recently launched Literacy Network, a portal focused on providing literacy tools for parents, volunteers, and reading mentors to support children on their reading journey. RIF builds capacity at the local level through community partners to help build a culture of literacy in communities nationwide.
Here are few organizations that have materials that can be used in the classroom or in the community.
• The SAG-AFTRA Foundation develops highly engaging read-aloud video resources with celebrity readers.
• The National PTA provides resources and support to ensure a direct connection between school learning and home connections.
• Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority includes thousands of committed volunteers that engage with and support children around in their local communities.
The most important thing we all can do is to support literacy in our communities. RIF believes that literacy is a lifelong adventure that opens doors to life’s possibilities. The key is to meet children where they are as they embark on one of life’s most fulfilling journeys: learning to read.
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