discovery toys blog of billie elias
Tips for parents who play with their children or who want stay-at-home income.
Toys for special need, autism, gifted and typical kids.

March 09, 2010

Literacy in the early years

Literacy includes reading, speaking, and writing.

At the Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Philadelphia (where 89% of the school qualifies for reduced or free lunch) college students from Temple University's Speech-Language program mentor underprivileged kindergartners and first graders in reading skills in an after school program. Research has shown that the poorest groups also have poor results in literacy, causing high drop out and unemployment rates, in addition to poor health.

The "Kids Write and Create Program," developed in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Temple, is attempting to turn this problem around. They know that children who do not read at grade level by the end of first grade are unlikely to ever catch up, hence the focus on the youngest students.

The above article also points out the need for children to have materials that span the various learning styles: auditory, kinesthetic and visual, particularly because at the youngest ages they don't yet have the ability to translate the spoken word to the written word.

Discovery Toys can truly make a difference in this population. Not only are there fun games like AB Seas that bring fish and the alphabet to life in a lively fishing game, and CDs like Sounds Like Learning that includes songs of the alphabet, opposites and manners, or The Big Hungry Bear book and companion CD (with a narrated version of the book on it) but there's also a sequencing, storytelling game that asks the child to put sentences into the proper order.

Please contact me at billietoy"at" if you know of grants that will provide these types of products for kids in need.

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