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Families and Literacy

Family Literacy is a high priority at Heartland Head Start. Parents and adult caregivers of children have a very important role in preparing children to become readers. Heartland Head Start recognizes that these adults are a child’s first and best teacher. We strive to help families in our program have the tools and knowledge needed to help children develop pre-reading skills.

Building Home Libraries:

Books are given to all families in the program each month thanks to our First Book, Reading is Fundamental, and Kiwanis grants. Book ownership and easy access to books in the home are important components of helping children develop a love of reading and the skills they will need to become a reader.

Family Literacy Events:

Families are encouraged to attend our Family Literacy events throughout the year. Most of these events are held at the local public libraries. For our Head Start families, each Head Start child attending is given a book. Parents and children work together to complete several activity stations related to the book. Children attend a story time presented by one of the children’s librarians from the local public library while adults meet together to discuss ways to promote literacy in the home or learn about health related topics affecting their families. For our Early Head Start families, parents and children spend time together at a story time provided by one of the children’s librarians and then have time to play together as they visit with other parents and children. Each child is given a book, and a light meal or snack is served.

Lending Library:

Lending Library is a way to expose families to many different books and authors as well as encourage families to read in the home. Each family who participates has an opportunity to earn a free book for their home library.

Read At Home:

This program is a way for parents to report and be recognized for reading at home with their child. A reading goal is set for the entire Heartland Head Start program and throughout the year a running total of the number of books being read is reported. All the families who participate in the Read At Home program are given a book at the end of the school year.

Reading aloud to children has been called the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for success in reading.

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