How Local Residents Can Improve Literacy In Troup County
Poor literacy rates affect everyone in the community and improving them will take community involvement. With many parents struggling to make ends meet, some simply do not have the time it takes to build reading skills at home. Each of us can use our skills and resources to help change the future of Georgia’s children.
Become a Bus Stop Monitor
Many parents (especially single parents) leave for work long before it’s time for their little ones to board a bus to school. Unfortunately, some of these children get absorbed in the television and miss the bus, resulting in many absences that hold children back in school. A bus stop monitor is a neighborhood helper who will knock on the doors of these homes each morning and make sure the little ones make it to the bus stop. If you already walk your children to the bus stop or just have some time to spare in the morning, take a burden from an overworked parent and make sure the kids get to the bus stop. Just this small offering to another family can make a big impact on our county’s literacy. Make sure you have permission from the child’s parent(s) and that the child knows you are a trusted adult.
Help Tutor Neighborhood Kids
If you have extra time and would be willing to offer tutoring to neighborhood children, ask nearby parents if there are areas their child needs extra help. You may improve the child’s literacy and academic success as well as relieving stress from an overworked and worried parent.
Read Aloud to Neighborhood Kids
Not every parent can take children to the local library for story time, nor can every parent find time to read aloud to their children every day. What would be more fun than inviting neighborhood children (and parents) to your yard for a book reading? This can be as simple as choosing a book and sitting in the grass to read, or as elaborate as dressing up as a book character and inviting others to do the same. Whatever you do, make sure the whole neighborhood knows your plans and invite everyone to participate!
Assist Neighbors with Meals
Children can’t read or perform in school if they are hungry and overworked parents can’t spend enough time reading with their children. Offer to cook dinner for such a family, or simply bring them a ready-made meal. There may be no simpler way to offer your support to a struggling parent and to improve the lives of their children!
Put a Lending Library or “Free Little Library” in your Yard
Lending libraries are a fun project and a great way to promote lifelong reading to neighborhood children. This site (https://littlefreelibrary.org/build) offers plans and blueprints for many different lending libraries. Children and adults can leave books they no longer need and take books that interest them. In addition to providing a variety of books to children who don’t have such access, a neighborhood library can facilitate discussions about books and model examples of lifelong reading to children.
Set a Good Example
Not all parents have the time or knowledge to model lifelong reading to their children. You can help fill the gap by simply reading in your front yard, carrying books where neighborhood children will see you, and initiating discussions about books and reading when you have the opportunity. Sparking curiosity about books and reading may develop a child’s interest, resulting in a greater desire to read and learn!
No list can represent all the ways we can help our children, neighbors, and community build necessary literacy skills. Use this list to spark your own creativity… what resources and skills do you have that may encourage or enable local families to build better literacy skills?