65% of Georgia’s 3rd graders lack the vocabulary and reading comprehension skills to truly learn as they grow. Grade level reading is declining at an alarming rate, and it’s a problem educators, leaders and parents must face together. Long before children can read, they need the foundations for language – recognizing, understanding and using words through speech. Read Right from the Start teaching strategies engage children in conversation in order to introduce new words and provide opportunities and encouragement for children to use them.

The more vocabulary a child masters at a young age, the more likely she is to comprehend what she reads in 3rd grade and beyond. As a parent, you have the power to help your children reach their full potential by encouraging Read Right from the Start in a number of ways.

Encourage Your Child

Everything starts with your child. The most critical time in a child’s literacy development is actually between birth and age 3. While many parents and caregivers ensure young children learn their ABCs, research shows us that children who talk and have story time with their parents are much more likely to one day read and comprehend at grade level. The READ Strategy (Repeat the Book, Engage and Enjoy, Ask Questions, and Do More) is one of the simplest ways to put your child on the path to literacy and reading comprehension. Many of us read to our children, but when we READ, children learn to look deeper into a book, ask questions and truly grasp the story. Using a few simple reading techniques at home can drastically increase your child’s love of learning.

Encourage Your Teachers

Many parents trust our teachers to teach our children, and we know that all Georgia teachers want the best for the children in their care. But too often the current, traditional teaching strategies are not enough for our children, especially in the critical preschool and pre-K period of learning. We know that children must be engaged in effective, two-way communication, and teachers play a critical role.

All teachers must complete continuing education credits each year, and you can encourage the administrators and teachers at your child’s school to adopt Read Right from the Start in order to earn those credits. Our online courses are totally free, and they provide educators all the tools they need to transform their classroom into the perfect atmosphere for literacy and learning. It is our Promise to have Read Right from the Start strategies used in every Georgia Birth to 3rd grade classroom by the year 2020. With your help, we can encourage our educators to embrace these proven strategies. After all, learning is more than just listening.

Encourage Change in Your Community

Our communities are the ties that bind us all together, and your friends and neighbors can be our greatest ally in implementing Read Right from the Start strategies, both in school and out. Improving literacy and reading comprehension in our children is the best way to give them the skills they need to graduate high school, find jobs and break the cycles of generational poverty that continue to plague Georgia. Encourage your community leaders and neighbors to give children the power to speak up. Your child’s future is too important to not use Read Right from the Start, so join us in encouraging a better approach to education!