Regarding the April 4 news article “State superintendent reveals plan for new literacy program”: Whereas I applaud Mark Johnson’s blanket enthusiasm regarding plans for revamping the approach to North Carolina’s literacy issues, I would make this suggestion: start earlier.
As a parent who introduced books once home from the hospital, taught her six children to read and love reading, and, as a volunteer, has had the privilege of reading to WCPSS elementary students for the last 20 years, I think it a more effective use of time and money to gather donated, new books to go home with newborns.
Oftentimes, even when entering on the kindergarten level, it could very well be a child’s first introduction to a book. So to then expect a 5/6-year-old to jump on the literacy train is a tall order, and not a little intimidating when expectations aren’t met in a “timely” fashion.
We’ve got donated hats and blankets going to the birthing centers; why wait to cultivate a love for reading and books until they’ve entered the public school system? And, yes, I’d be happy to help any way I can.