If we truly want to MAKE READING MATTER in San Diego, we have to cast the program net wide, and that requires sharing best practices and contributing to coordinated community solutions around literacy.
January was a big month for Words Alive in that regard.
Project Concern International - California Border Healthy Start Project
Just after the New Year, we were asked to provide a training for the home-visiting staff of Project Concern International’s California Border Healthy Start Project. In their program model, staff visit under-served families at home, serving as a key connection between parents and resources to increase family stability. PCI reached out to Words Alive looking for a professional development opportunity that would better equip home-visiting staff with tools and strategies to support parents in building habits of reading aloud daily to their children. Thirty-four staff members from PCI spent an afternoon in rich-discussion and hands-on practice. Attendees described the training as “creative, motivating and informative”, and reported leaving better prepared for the task at hand.
As reported by the programs director, Lisa Bain, following are some results of the enthusiasm inspired by the training:
A literacy work group was established to keep the issue a priority in our programs and has organized a client event to celebrate World Read Aloud day in February
Data collection forms were revised to capture a broader understanding of literacy (e.g. not just reading books)
PCI is joining the San Diego Council on Literacy
National Literacy Month has been added to the office’s planning calendar
Home visiting staff have expressed positive feedback from clients when using books as a regular part of their home visits
DEEP - The Power of Play
More recently, Words Alive took a lead role as co-facilitator in a full-day professional development
training for home-based child care in the Diamond Community of southeast San Diego. Child care providers licensed to take care of children in their home are an integral part of the survival pie for working parents and, often, a child’s first experience with a learning environment outside the home.
In response to community feedback, the 0-5 working group of the Diamond Education Excellence Partnership identified supporting providers as an important early strategy to helping children arrive at kindergarten prepared to learn. A strong example of coordinated effort, partners from Words Alive, San Diego Public Library-READ, Malcolm X Library, YMYCA CRS, SDSU Department of Early and Family Development came together to provide meaningful strategies around the Power of Play and ways to integrate literacy into all parts of a child’s day. Attendees are already signing up for the 2nd and 3rd installments of the series!
Please find the flyer from the event on January 23rd to the left.
2015 was busy but we promise to make 2016 even busier, by reaching out into the community and leading the charge to open opportunities for life success by inspiring a commitment to reading!
Making Reading Matter - Changing Lives!