*I received an Amazon gift card and Swag Bag for my participation in the Nemour’s Reading BrightStart! Webinar. However, all opinions are expressly my own.*
Sadly, more then 30% of all children struggle with learning to read.
– Nemour’s Reading Bright Start
Believe it or not, I was was one of those children back in first grade in elementary school over 30 years ago.
I still remember being put in the lower reading group and telling my mom that I was not going to stay in that reading group and was going to be put in the higher reading group.
What occurred after that was all due to my mom sitting patiently each afternoon after school to help me learn how to phonetically read and pronounce words at and above eventually above grade level by the end of my first grade year.
And yes, I made it into the higher reading group slowly, but surely, because back then my teacher gave my mom books for me to have at home for my mom to indeed work with me to achieve my reading goal.
Back then, kids weren’t reading though in Kindergarten and definitely not in pre-school, like Emma now in kindergarten is beginning to indeed read. Yet, now more then ever, I am very much on top of both Emma and Lily constantly sitting with them reading, writing and doing activities with them just as my mom did back then with me.
Also, there weren’t any early screeners either that could have detected that I may have been in need of some extra help to make me a successful reader any earlier then first grade.
Nowadays though, I am thankful that there is indeed outside help.
Nemour’s is one such organization that has their Reading BrightStart! Program, which is a free online reading readiness program focused on building reading success for kids ages birth through 5 years of age, who is headed by the Operational Vice President of the company, Laura Bailet, PhD. and licensed school psychologist.
And recently, I was lucky enough to attend a webinar to learn more about this initiative from Nemour’s.
What I learned was indeed very impressive about BrightStart! Reading.
One of the statistics, that struck me during this webinar, was that if a child is not reading at grade level by the end of first grade that child has a 10% chance of reading at grade level by the end of fourth grade.
Now connect the dots to my early reading troubles…
Remember, it was early first grade that my mom was told that I was not reading up to grade level and yet thanks to my mom’s help, I was indeed reading above grade level by the end of first grade.
In essence, early intervention totally helped me and do believe that they Nemour’s onto something here for sure with the concept of early detection and help being a key to combatting reading deficiencies in young kids.
For those, kids who may not be as lucky to have outside help as I did back then or have the opportunity to have their parent’s use the Reading BrightStart Program, the NEGATIVE consequences are truly alarming, which include:
- externalizing behavior
- dropping out of school
- drug and alcohol abuse
- delinquency and crime.
In effect, literacy is the single, strongest predictor of adult health.
And in this end, Nemour’s Reading BrightStar Program is working to close the gap and ensure that every child receives a bright start for school and life by identifying children at risk and providing them with research based educational activities.
The program essentially gives parents the ability to:
- Believe they can make a difference (which I am here to tell you from my own past experience – my mom made a world of difference for me as I am truly a lifelong reader).
- Learn activities to engage their kid.
- Screen their children at regular intervals.
- Return to the site for ongoing interaction, learning and community, too.
On average, those children who have received BrightStart! instruction have shown gains of 114% in their reading readiness skills.
In essence, Nemour’s wants to give every child the promise of a bright start to be happy readers and healthy kids, too.
Remember it is absolutely FREE, so if you are a parent to kid(s) 5 and under, I would highly recommend trying this program out for your child(ren). I have started using this as a resource for both my girls and truly so glad that I found out about it, as I feel like it truly is a wonderful (again) FREE resource for us.
You might be asking, but where do I get started on their website?
If you scroll down to the middle of the Nemour’s Reading BrightStart page, you will see a blue bar with an owl that says,
“Take the free pre-school reading screener for children ages 3-5.”
Here you answer some preliminary questions, such as your child’s age and gender before clicking to take the actual short screening test.
Once you take the test, then you will indeed find out your child’s results (score) and a plan of action if needed for your child.
I actually took it for Emma and pretty much told me what I already knew that she was in the average range for her grade, but loved that this exists and which I totally knew about it sooner, especially when she was in pre-school and being nervous about her starting kindergarten this year.
But still, definitely a great tool all-in-all, Because in the end…
“He who loves reading has everything within reach.”