June 30, 2015
Help Us Attack the Gap…the Achievement Gap!
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Did you know that children from the highest socioeconomic status (SES), have been read to 1,000 hours before kindergarten, while those from the lowest SES have only been read to 25 hours?
Did you know that children from the highest SES have had 45 million words addressed to them by age 4, while those from the lowest SES have only had 13 million words addressed to them?
These are two outcomes of the impact of the Achievement Gap, which is the significant and persistent disparity in academic performance betweeen different groups of students, such as students from higher-income and lower-income, for example.
Kids Incorporated of the Big Bend provides comprehensive early education and care services to 220 children from 6 weeks of age to age 3 and their families in 6 Early Head Start (EHS) centers in Leon, Jefferson and Madison counties. In addition, we provide prenatal services to 42 women and their families.
We are committed to attacking this achievement gap and are launching a program to engage our EHS families to helping us.
We need your help to make this a success.
All of the parents of children who will be enrolled in our 2015-2016 school year will be attending a mandatory meeting before our centers re-open for the new program year. At that time we will discuss the Achievement Gap and its impact on children and enlist their help in attacking this gap. We are asking parents to spend time each day reading to to their children and because we serve low-income families, they have limited funds to spend on such items as books. Rent, utilities and food must take priority.
That's why we are launching an Attack the Achievement Gap Book Drive and are collecting books suitable for children ages 3 and under. Board books (made of hard cardboard) are excellent books for young children. They can turn pages and are difficult to tear up. Babies and young children love Mother Goose nursery rhymes and books with rhymes, alliterations and repetition. Not only are they appealing to children, they also help them begin to recognize and identify sounds.
Through the month of July, we will be collecting new and used books for children 3 years of age and younger. Here are three ways you can help:
1. hold a book drive at work or with an organization you are a member of and collect new or used books suitable for children 3 years of age and younger
2. donate a new or used book suitable for children 3 years and younger
3. use social media and encourage friends and family to hold a book drive or to donate a book or books.
Books may be dropped off at our administratives offices located at 2326 Centerville Rd., Tallahassee 32308 (across from the Post Office and behind the Allied Veterinary Clinic). They may also be dropped off at one of our six EHS centers, which are located in Tallahassee, Monticello, Greenville and Madison, FL. (For a complete location list, visit www.kidsincorporated.org/locations). Donors will be asked to complete an in-kind donation form, which may be found on our website at www.kidsincorporated.org/give.
With your help, we can attack the Achivement Gap and help these young children be prepared to enter school ready to learn....we can, with your help, successfully Attack the Gap!