The mission is to ensure that every 4 year-old in Title I schools and Head Start Centers in Beaufort County has books in his/her home.
8,500 children in Beaufort County live in poverty. Statistics show that two out of three children living in poverty have no books in their homes. This impairs children’s early language and literacy development and later reading achievement.
Most reading difficulties can be prevented by having access to books in early childhood.
Statistics show that education is a powerful way to fight poverty, and reading has a direct correlation with school success. First Books of Beaufort sponsors monthly interactive story times during the school year for 4-year-olds at these Title I preschools and Head Start Centers in Beaufort County:
-Broad River Elementary
-James Davis Early Childhood Center
-Lady’s Island Elementary
-Mossy Oaks Elementary
-Port Royal Elementary
-Roberts Smalls Academy
-Beaufort Head Start Center
-James Davis Head Start Center
-Red Cedar Elementary
-M.C. Riley Early Childhood Center
-Hilton Head Island Early Childhood Center
-Sandlewood Head Start Center
-The Children’s Center
The children then take the book home, and at the end of the school year, they will have a library of nine books in their homes. The four-year-old age was chosen because these are all at-risk children as determined by Child Find testing. This program will get them interested in and excited about books before they enter elementary school, and also get books into their homes and classrooms.
Reading to young children also helps them:
- increase their vocabulary.
- develop school skills of listening, remembering, and analyzing.
- stimulate their imaginations.
- learn about peer relationships.
- learn coping strategies of problem situations.
- build self-esteem.
- increase their general knowledge of the world around them.
Books in the home also encourage family reading times, and further reinforce the importance of books to the child’s future success in school and life.
Current Program Objectives:
- Get books into 90% of the homes of four year-olds in Title I schools and Head Start Centers in Beaufort County.
- Add books to 90% of the classrooms of four-year-olds in Title I schools and Head Start Centers in Beaufort County.
- Promote parent/guardian reading to children and encourage family time at home.
- Help children become comfortable with and enjoy books and understand that stories have a message that applies to their lives.
- Help children learn simple words, letters and numbers currently being taught in the classrooms.
Methods of Measurement:
1. Records of the number of books distributed at each school will be kept.
2. Records of the books given to the classrooms will be kept.
3a. Information about the benefits of reading to children will be sent home twice during the school year.
3b. Parents will be surveyed at each graduation ceremony to get feedback about their child’s interest in books and increases in family reading time.
3c. Children will be asked, “Who read the book to you?” and “Who did you share your book with?” before each session. At the end of the session they are asked, “Who will you ask to read this book to you?” Responses will be reported by readers.
4. Readers will submit a survey about the progress of interactions in discussing the story to get them thinking about issues, feelings, the point of the story, and how it relates to their lives.
5a. Readers will reinforce letters, numbers and words currently being taught in the classrooms and report progress.
5b. Teachers will be surveyed about effectiveness of the program at the end of the year.
- Children will learn to enjoy books before entering school and will be prepared to learn letters, numbers and words at the beginning of school, starting them off on the road to literacy.
- Children will learn about the world around them, how to interact with others, to express their feelings, and cope with difficult situations.
- The children’s skills of listening, remembering, and analyzing will be reinforced and improved.
- Parents will read books to their children at home, encouraging more family time and engagement.
- The number of books in classrooms will be increased.
Long term Outcome:
Children will learn to appreciate books and will be able read at grade level by third grade.