Program teaches kids to read before kindergarten - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Program teaches kids to read before kindergarten


Leila O'Collonn may only be 3 years old, but she's already learning how to read.

"She's really done well," said Eva Martin, Leila's grandmother. "It's helped her in looking through the books, and kind of grab the story and read the story herself."

Leila is part of a project promoted by the Greater Augusta Partnership for Literacy. The group provides books for children under the age of five, and prepares them for reading success. Right now they're registering families with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library; putting books right in the hands of children in the CSRA.

"What we're trying to do is get children ready for kindergarten; build that family time; being able to read a book, hold a book, be familiar with books before they get to school," said Pam Lightsey, public relations chair with the Greater Augusta Partnership for Literacy. 

Georgia's Department of Education recently released the test scores for the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests, or CRCT. Richmond County elementary and middle school students received higher test scores from last year, but the results were still lower than the state average.

The statistic is what the Greater Augusta Partnership for Literacy is trying to change.

"If children are able to read at age 3, that helps their third grade reading level, and then that just progresses," Lightsey said.

These Richmond County teachers say the project could benefit them in their classrooms.

"As a kindergarten teacher, I sometimes forget that we have to teach the basic skills like opening the book the right way, like turning the pages, even reading from left to right," said Sara Griffin, a kindergarten teacher in Richmond County.

Turning the pages isn't a problem for Leila, as she prepares herself for a quality education and a bright future.


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