Only 9% of the children who started at Atkins Elementary in the Fall of 2016 were kindergarten ready
So we are launching a Family Literacy Program
The vast majority of the children are far behind when they enter our local elementary school, and many never catch up. We must empower and support the caregivers, so they can provide the best possible early childhood development to their children. We are addressing this critical need in two ways. First, we will begin classes at the community center in the fall. While the caregivers learn techniques to help their children develop language skills, the children will be with caring adults who will be singing, reading and talking to them. Then we will bring the families together so the caregivers can practice in a supportive environment.
Additionally, we will go out into the neighborhood and find the moms and children where they are. We are excited to say that we were awarded a grant by the Shreveport Rotary Club to help fund the Rotary Learning Bus. The bus will serve as the center, and Common Ground as the manager, of a roving “hub” that will include the Shreve Memorial Library Bookmobile, medical vans, and the mobile food bank, and we will go straight to the neighborhood — Section 8 apartment buildings, and churches— and have hands-on activities that will equip caregivers to help further their child’s development. We recognize that it’s hard to admit you don’t have the right tools to help your children learn, so there will be incentives, such as diapers, formula, and books for caregivers to take home.
You’ll be hearing more about this as fall approaches because we will need volunteers and financial contributions for this program to be successful. Please consider supporting our efforts to address a vital need and give our children a chance for a brighter future.