Let No Learner Be Left Behind

Support the drive for Higher Functional Literacy in the Bay Area

Love4Literacy Improves Reading and Writing Skills

Let No Learner Be Left Behind

With only 64% of students reading at grade level, this program seeks to alleviate the disparity.

In partnership with the Santa Clara County Library District and the City of San Jose, participants in this program explore everything libraries have to offer. With a particular focus on reading and writing skills, Love4Literacy can significantly impact a child’s future.

Students are recruited from schools and other agencies, such as local non-profits like Sunday Friends Foundation, which uplifts low-income families. BATA staff conduct presentations to encourage the students to join, and the students come from diverse backgrounds, including different schools and communities. In the programs, they can interact as one!

With help from the Safe Summer Initiative Grant (SSIG), students are given full access to the local library to sign up for library cards and access other resources. Resources available are not limited to the library. BATA staff can connect families with resources for any need, including housing, food, and more.

For instance, if a family needs help obtaining housing, BATA can reach out to partner organizations such as the Bill Wilson Center, which offers rapid rehousing, and others throughout the region to assist. Likewise, if food is needed, BATA can connect the participant and their family to food kitchens.

The foundation of the program targets building skills for impacted youth. Students typically pick out books to read and then talk about what they read amongst their peers, discussion-style. They also have the chance to complete fun daily activities such as “readathons.” Where, if they get involved, they win prizes. Students are also able to make their books, which are laminated and bound for them!

A skill portion is also involved, which builds upon Common Core State Standards and hones the students’ competency in reading comprehension and effective writing. Finally, students usually receive free backpacks filled with useful school supplies to take home as a memento at the end of the program. Thus, your donation makes it possible to give the gift of reading and writing literacy to a child who might not otherwise get that gift.

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It’s About the Learners, Reading Skills, Writing Skills and the Future of the Country

Adult illiteracy directly impacts a person’s job prospects, the likelihood of living in poverty, incarceration, access to proper health care and better health outcomes, and yes – even life expectancy. Therefore, programs like Love4Literacy are essential for addressing disparities in the Bay Area.

It is becoming increasingly impossible to escape these circumstances due to generational illiteracy, and millions of Americans face this reality daily.

Around 43 million Americans have inadequate literacy abilities, and 8.4 million are functionally illiterate, defined as having literacy skills equivalent to those in third grade or no more than the most basic of literacy skills.

Over the last decade, average reading proficiency scores have fallen across the US, leaving millions of youngsters without the skills they need to become engaged and informed citizens. Low-income pupils, including those from Latinx and Black communities, are particularly vulnerable. These groups have been scoring significantly lower than the national average. Aggregated economic loss in the form of decreased GDP and widespread political disengagement are just two of many possible wide-ranging implications of having an entrenched problem of functional illiteracy – implications that Love4Literacy hopes to fight through continuous effort.

Additional factors like undiagnosed reading disorders (such as dyslexia,) which are more effectively handled when discovered in children as early as kindergarten and certainly before the second grade, are additional causes of illiteracy. Reading performance can also be limited by environmental variables such as a lack of exposure to books and language obstacles.

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How Do Reading Skills and Writing Skills Develop in Children?

If you believe that youngsters begin learning to read only when they reach kindergarten, you are mistaken. On the contrary, so-called pre-reading skills possessed by children develop naturally far earlier in life–even as early as infancy. For example, think of how babies play with language. The sounds that we often call babbling help form the foundations of reading and general literacy. As a result, a student’s reading ability is influenced by events within and outside the classroom.

Many kids confront learning difficulties outside of school, according to the majority of teachers. However, when asked about the specificity of these factors, only a tiny percentage of people can provide definitive answers. Early literacy development is complicated, and while no single factor determines total failure or success, we must remember that cognitive and social factors play huge roles. On the other hand, educators can discover a few common aspects that their pupils may identify with, so they may provide the greatest possible help.

Understanding how early childhood literacy and language development works will help you understand why certain variables can enhance or impede reading skills and writing skills and why programs like Love4Literacy matter.

One of the most widely accepted theories suggests that students should progress through five phases of reading development throughout their academic careers.

While the last three phases are essential for mature literacy development, the emerging and novice phases are critical for early literacy. Emerging pre-readers are primarily concerned with abilities that will eventually lead to reading, such as learning how the alphabet works or becoming generally familiar with printed words on the page.

While children may not begin reading seriously until they are finally in school, they are already developing characteristics that will help them later. For example, exposure to books and performing activities like reading text aloud have been shown to help youngsters learn to read more quickly.

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Children begin to correlate sounds and letters with spoken or printed words once they enter primary school.

The novice reader is the term for this stage. This stage is commonly entered between kindergarten or first grade, while each student’s journey from pre-reading to early reading is unique. In addition, students will go through this stage more quickly if they are exposed to more sophisticated vocabulary through language and print.

There are three final stages, namely, decoding, comprehending, and expert reading phases. These three final phases tend to define a learner’s academic career not just in high school but most especially in college – after.

Decoding readers begin to concentrate on the story’s meaning rather than just word identification. At this point, the reader’s fluency and reading speed begin to skyrocket.

Students capable of comprehending expand on these skills when they begin branching out to themes, and they learn to correlate real-life experiences with the new materials that they read. Readers also start to connect to and understand issues that are significant to them. They gain more detailed knowledge as a result.

The final stage, expert readers, focuses on reading from various sources and integrating data into more complete writings.

Does culture impact literacy, too?

Negative, positive, and neutral cultural environments exist. It makes little difference whether a kid reads right to left, or left to write, as long as the direction is consistent with the cultural norm. On the other hand, educators should be aware of which aspects are favorable and which are harmful so that they can help children and their families as needed.

Culture also involves factors like income disparity.

For example, there is typically a vocabulary gap between low- and high-income kids linked to socioeconomic position and education. Low socioeconomic status (SES) pupils know around 4000 fewer words by second grade than higher-performing students. The explanation isn’t that under-resourced youngsters aren’t capable of acquiring words; it’s that their families can’t afford to send them to early education programs.

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