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Step Forward celebrates International Literacy Day

Cuyahoga County, OH – On September 8th, Step Forward partnered with The Literacy Coop to celebrate International Literacy Day.

This year, UNESCO declared the theme as “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces.” The agency felt it was a way to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable and inclusive education for all.

Early Head Start & Head Start

Step Forward’s Early Head Start and Head Start students read every day.

“It opens their minds,” one of our teachers said. “It takes them to different places. It’s a fundamental aspect of a child’s life to read to them!”

Statistics show just six minutes of reading per day can greatly impact the development of young children. Kids who engage in reading 20 minutes a day are likely to score better than 90 percent of their peers on standardized tests. Children who read at least 20 minutes a day were also exposed to nearly two million words per year.

Teachers shared their favorite books. Some popular favorites included Where the Wild Things Are, Green Eggs and Ham and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. They also suggested Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?, It Looked like Spilt Milk, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and Three Little Kittens.

If you would like to enroll your child, or get more information, click here.

Why families should read together at home

Step Forward encourages parents and guardians to read with their children at home.

According to data from the National Institute for Literacy, if a home has a higher number of books, the children living there typically achieve higher reading scores. Those who chose what they read at home tended to be more motivated and showed greater language and literacy development. Finally, the same data showed children who were read to at least three times per week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading compared to children who were read to fewer than three times a week.

How you can get brand-new, free books for your young child

Have you heard about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library yet? The program expanded statewide throughout Ohio in 2019. Today, more than 350,000 children are enrolled, which means less than half of eligible children are receiving books.

The program is free to families statewide, regardless of income. It provides children birth to five-years old one book per month. The books are sent via the mail and each are addressed directly to the child.

Recent studies show participation in Dolly’s Library were associated with preparedness for kindergarten and family literacy habits, especially for children who lived in high-poverty areas. About 71 percent of families reported reading more often with their children since receiving Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library books.

To enroll, click here.

Step Forward also offers an Adult Basic Literacy Skills Workshop

The agency is proud to announce a seven-week pilot workshop designed to promote and improve a clients’ reading, writing and mathematics skills. Step Forward has integrated basic computer literacy technology into the workshop, too, to enhance employability skills. The workshop is designed to prepare clients for better educational and employment opportunities. Those who complete the workshop may be referred to other classroom trainings to further enhance their career goals and training opportunities.

Click here for more information.

According to the Literacy Coop, adults are statistically more likely to increase their skills and advance in their careers when job training includes literacy and numeracy skills in the context of, and incorporated within, job training for specific sectors. Reading can also help reduce mental decline in old age by 32 percent.

You can help make a difference

There are three ways you can get involved with Step Forward’s effort in the community.

  • Spread the word: Help us connect with residents in need and keep up to date with our services on social media.

  • Donate: Donations help us provide the best services to Cuyahoga County residents

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