Books are Just the Beginning

IMG_1943Laura Rodriguez, a Community Literacy Specialist for Tandem, Partners in Early Learning, recently visited Stoneman preschool in Pittsburg. She was there to provide a storytelling demonstration for teachers and an engaging early learning experience for the kids.

As she read the Busy Body Book, Laura encouraged the kids to stomp their feet, feel their bones, and talk about their muscles.

“I can carry pillows with my muscles,” one child shared.

“You can! You are very strong,” Laura replied. The demonstration included many open-ended questions, silly sounds, and opportunities for kids to move, act things out, and relate concepts from the story to their lives – all important elements for interactive early learning experiences that spark joy in children.

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New Campaign Makes Every Word Count

HilaryFormer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Oakland last week to launch a new campaign focused on helping parents turn everyday activities into enriching vocabulary-building experiences for their children.

Sponsored by the Bay Area Council, Too Small to Fail, Kaiser Permanente, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, and the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, the ‘Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing’ campaign is designed to reduce the “word gap” that puts many low-income children behind their higher income peers before they even start kindergarten.

About the Word Gap

Research shows that low-income children hear about 30 million fewer words than children in high-income families by the time they’re four years old. The more words children hear – whether it’s talking, reading or singing – the richer their vocabulary becomes and the better they do in school. For many children, the word gap leads to an achievement gap that persists into school and beyond. Continue reading