September is Basic Education & Literacy Month
Rotary International designates September as basic education and literacy month. Research into early learning has proven time and again the importance of quality early experiences for children and how those experiences influence their future success in school and in life.
Literacy skills in particular are vitally important to that success. The lack of reading proficiency by 3rd grade is often used as a predictor of the trajectory for the future life experiences for a child, including whether or not that child migrates on the path toward a successful career or instead toward potential incarceration.
Our club can certainly be proud of the efforts it has placed and continues to place in this area of service. Columbia Metro has been a partner in education with the CPS Title I program for over 15 years, with several Rotarians donating their time to read and communicate with our youngest citizens in their preschool classrooms on a weekly basis. Repeated opportunities to practice communicating are vitally important for these young children in developing literacy skills, especially for many of them who may lack such support and stability at home.
We have a unique and personally rewarding opportunity to help these children begin on a path toward success. Even with the current challenges of COVID-19 and virtual learning we will have an opportunity to participate in this partnership. Consider making a short (5-10 min) video of yourself reading a children’s book. These will then be shared with preschoolers as part of daily lessons. Contact Les Gelband or Shane Winter, co-chairs of the PIE committee, for more information.