To help underserved children achieve kindergarten readiness and a lifetime of literacy by empowering school age brothers and sisters to read to their young family members at home.
The Read to Me Project estimates that over 70 percent of Monterey County children are starting kindergarten as much as two years behind in early literacy knowledge—that means a 5-year-old starting school with the vocabulary and cognitive skills of a 3-year-old. The Big Idea is to train slightly older kids—fourth- through sixth-graders—to read to their younger siblings. This gives the older child skills and responsibilities, and also helps littler ones get used to being read to, whether or not parents and caregivers can do so. The demand for Read to Me Project’s work with children in no- to low-literacy families increases every year. Literacy starting at a young age creates a solid learning foundation, setting children on a lifelong course for more equity and opportunity.
From the start, I was so excited about Read to Me Project and how it can change lives–one child, family, school, and community at a time. Literacy is the heartbeat of any elementary school. I continue to be thrilled with the results I am seeing with my fourth graders. It will be wonderful through the years to have the little ones coming to kindergarten not only excited about reading, but with some of the foundational skills already!
- Noelle Griffin