Mel is live at EPIC (Every Person Influences Children) and she is talking with Tara Burgess. Books are so important in a child’s life. Tara says books are the key to a child learning and expanding their understanding of the world around them and, not around them and literacy really is the key to academic success which is obviously the key to the future for children.
Tara says there is just something so exciting about opening a fresh book when you are six years old and you just learned to how to read a chapter book and all that excitement that comes with traveling around the world, understanding where kangaroos come from which you wouldn’t know that if you didn’t read books.
Tara says the support that they receive from Channel 7, WKBW, from Scripps and all the community members that are out there supporting organizations like ours that are helping children and helping families to develop those literacy skills in their children is so important. She says we appreciate it so much.
Jaime, from EPIC says some things she found out when she moved to the Buffalo area is that 30% of adults in Western New York are functionally illiterate which basically means they can survive in the world, but they are not able to absorb and enjoy a book and gain the kind of knowledge that we would hope that we could.
Jaime also says as we look at third grade English language arts proficiency scores, only about 48% of students in Western New York are reading at that third grade proficiency level. She says, so one thing that we know we can do is if you put books in the hands of children and then we help families develop confidence around helping their child to read, we will see those scores go up and that eventually means that functional adult literacy rate will decrease so we sort of have this great impact starting at a young age all the way through adulthood.
Jaime says that they do some literacy programing at EPIC, and Ready Set Read is a family program and at the end of that program they distribute literacy packs, and they count on things like this book opportunity to stuff those packs full of books kids are interested in, that they will get excited about.
Liz from EPIC says as a parent she can say that our kids don’t necessarily learn the same way we do. She says just because she loved reading growing up doesn’t mean her daughter will. Something she has taken away from EPIC’s different literacy programs and reading with her daughter are all the things you can do beyond just reading the words on the page. She says you can talk about colors, shapes, what do you think is going to happen next in the story; if you were the author of the story how would change it, what was the funniest part, was there a part that surprised you? So, realty getting their imagination working and learning that if they don’t like reading the words or figuring out the letters, that’s okay, there is so much else you can do within a book; it’s still literacy.
A $5 donation buys one book for a child and they get to pick the book they want to take home.
For more information visit wkbw.com/giveabook.com