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Early Literacy Program Significantly Improves Pre-reading Skills in At-Risk Children
Date:10/2/2013

Jacksonville, FLa. (PRWEB) October 02, 2013

An innovative literacy program in northern Florida helped substantially raise early literacy scores of nearly 200 pre-Kindergarten children. The Nemours BrightStart! program, implemented in nearly 60 classrooms in Florida’s Duval County Public School District, builds on the growing national recognition of the importance of early childhood education and demonstrates the impact of targeted, developmentally appropriate interventions for the young learners. The results of the program were published online in a recent report.

At the start of the 2012-2013 school year, 196 children were enrolled in the Nemours BrightStart! small-group enrichment reading program in their public school classrooms, after scoring substantially below benchmark on a nationally-recognized reading readiness screening, with an average score of 7.59 (a score of less than 10 indicates weak skills at the start of the pre-K year). Peers in the non-enrichment group had an average score of 14.25, nearly double the scores of the at-risk students. By the end of the program, the Nemours BrightStart! intervention closed the achievement gap noted from the start of the year, with a nearly 125 percent gain in reading abilities by kids who received the instruction compared to the 32 percent gain by their peers who did not receive the instruction.

“We need to start recognizing that each child is an individual learner with distinct needs, but also substantial learning capabilities,” said Laura Bailet, Ph.D., executive director of Nemours BrightStart! “This starts by giving early childhood educators developmentally appropriate, evidence-based curriculum tools that build in strategies for children who learn in diverse ways and set them on a path to reading.”

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