Early Literacy Skills Help Children Succeed in School and Life

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012  |  Updated 1:34 PM PDT
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Early Literacy Skills Help Children Succeed in School and Life

Nathan Johnson

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Good reading skills are the foundation for all future learning. One way to help ensure a better future for your child is to put a book into their hands at an early age.

Sadly, for many families, having age-appropriate children’s books at home is a luxury they cannot afford. In fact, research shows there’s only one age-appropriate book for every 300 children from low-income neighborhoods. Furthermore, 61 percent of low-income families don’t have any age-appropriate books in their homes.

“Strong literacy and language skills help build a young child’s self-esteem,” said Marsol Ward, director of the Academy for Early Learning in Inglewood. “But, if children don’t receive exposure to reading in their home, we see them not acquiring an interest in story-telling and in books, which can lead to a delay in reading skills.”

Janelle Ocampo, an El Monte mother of two, believes that one can’t over-estimate the importance of early literacy skills. “My goal is to expose my children to reading to at least 30 minutes a day," she said. "We make it fun to learn one new word a day through picture books, rhymes, songs or even pointing out signs as we drive.”

To help put books in the hands of children most in need, Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP), a non-profit organization that funds high-quality preschool education across Los Angeles County, has teamed up with JetBlue Airways and PBS SoCal to provide age-appropriate books to children in need through the Soar With Reading campaign. FOR MORE INFO, GO TO http://www.laup.net/

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