As teachers it is our job and responsibility to educate children. But it takes a community of professionals, loved ones, caregivers, and parents to help children shine to their fullest potential. Language and literacy goes hand in hand. It is my wish to prepare children for school success using picture books and related mulitmedia tools. Stories can improve skills including vocabulary, sound awareness, and letter recogntion. Language and literacy goals go beyond just prereading skills but also fosters social development.
As you are aware, there is a growing body of evidence that there are many students who enter school significantly behind their more advantaged and typically developing peers and that over the course of elementary school the academic performance widens.
This gap of reading proficiency between students with disabilities and students without disabilities remains significant and a cause for deep concern (Center of Education Policy 2001a). One of the primary goals of Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is that all students reach proficiency in reading by the year 2014. These two major pieces of federal legislation in the US since 2002 has dramatically shifted the course of education for all students.
Some of the reading and literacy statistics in America are staggering...
A majority of all poor readers have an early history of spoken-language deficits. A recent study reported that 73% of 2nd grade poor readers had phonemic awareness or spoken language problems (Catts, Fey, Zhang & Tomblin, 1999).
One out of every 5 of our nation's school-age children suffer from reading failure (Lyon, 2001)
10 million children in US are poor readers (8 million in the 4th-12th grades; Ehren, B., 2007-AGS/Pearson Assessments)
A child who is not a fluent reader by 4th grade is likely to struggle with reading into adulthood. Today, 41% of 4th grade boys and 35% of girls read below the basic level, and in low-income urban schools this figure approaches 70% (Nat'l Center for Educaton Statistics, 1998 from ASHA 2007)
Poor reading and writing skills have a devastating lifelong impact-75% of school dropouts report reading problems, and at least half of adolescents and young adults with criminal records have reading difficulties (Lyon, 2001).
80%-85% of children with LD (learning disabilities) are primarily impaired in the area of reading. (AGS/Pearson Assessements)
70% of poor readers in the 3rd grade remain poor readers in the 9th grade (AGS Pearson Assessments)
More than 1/3 of American children do not exhibit basic level of reading proficiency (Nat'l Center of Education Statistics, 2005)
Children with clinically depressed language skills are the most at risk for reading failure (Catts, Fey Tomblin & Zhang, 2002)
Research indicates that after the fourth grade, literacy intervention and remediation programs are only beneficial for approximately 13% of students who are struggling with reading (Wren, 2003).