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Literacy News: Community Report

by tracy@tracydiina.com
Mon, Jan 23rd 2017 07:00 pm

Literacy New York looks for strategies that are making a difference, or those that seem to hold promise.

Joplin, Missouri has embarked on Vision 2022 initiative that shows potential. The project is a resident driven effort to imagine what the city could look like in five years. The Vision 2022 education committee focuses on adult literacy and literacy among pre-school age children.

The focus is on literacy because the community feels that improving literacy rates among children and adults will positively impact voter turnout, high school graduation rates and workforce readiness.

Many committee members who work with children said they believe that improving literacy among society's youngest members must begin with their parents.

Jeff Goldammer, who oversees local Head Start programs, said his organization has worked with parents to help them understand the potential achievement gap that their children could face when they reach kindergarten. He cited a study from University of Kansas researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley that suggests children from low-income families hear 30 million fewer words by age 4 than children from families with higher incomes.

"The parent is the first and best teacher for their child, and the parent is the best person who can address that gap," Goldammer said.

Joplin residents will pull the pieces of the plan together by Summer 2017. It is affirming to see that literacy plays an important role in community planning. Ultimately, LNY hopes that all communities throughout the U.S. plan for the future with an emphasis on the power of literacy.

The Joplin Globe

 

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