Families Matter for Reading Success

As a child's first teacher, parents play the biggest role in helping children learn to read! There are so many things families can do from birth through 3rd grade to help children meet this milestone. Here are some ideas!
Rhode Island Reads Partner Meeting 

On Thursday, November 2, 2017, United Way of Rhode Island and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT welcomed state leaders and community partners to the Rhode Island College to discuss strategies to improve 3rd grade reading success. Please see the data presentation and event pictures

Since 2015 when the Rhode Island Reads campaign was launched, 3rd grade reading proficiency has increased from 37% to 40% of students. More needs to be done to accelerate progress. Students who do not read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma. The goal of the campaign is to double the number of the state's 3rd graders who are reading at grade level by 2025.
Share Your Favorites - Join Us!

Rhode Island Reads: The Campaign for 3rd Grade Reading (coordinated by the United Way of Rhode Island and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT) is working with the Governor's Children's Cabinet toward our shared goal of doubling the number of 3rd grade students reading proficiently by 2025. 

During the week of November 27, we are asking that you join us in a "Share Your Favorites" social media campaign. That week, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, post a recommendation of your favorite book - and childhood books, in particular - using the hashtag #RIReads. Just one post and you'll be helping to bring awareness to our work. Learn more here!
Child Development Milestone Tracker

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new, free app called Milestone Tracker to help families keep track of their child's development in a fun and easy way. "Skills like taking a first step, saying those first words, and waving 'bye-bye' are developmental milestones all parents anticipate and celebrate," said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. "This CDC Milestone Tracker app gives parents tips to help their child learn and grow, a way to track developmental milestones, recognize delays, and the ability to share this information with their healthcare provider." Milestone Tracker is available in the App Store and on Google Play

The new app offers:
  • Interactive milestone checklists for children ages 2 months through 5 years, illustrated with photos and videos 
  • Tips and activities to help children learn and grow 
  • Information on when to act early and talk with a doctor about developmental delays 
  • A personalized milestone summary that can be easily shared with the doctor and other care providers 
  • Reminders for appointments and developmental screening. 

In Rhode Island, all children should receive developmental screenings during well-child visits at ages 9, 18, 24, and 30 months and through your local school district at ages 3, 4, and 5.

Reach Out and Read Rhode Island

Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. In Rhode Island, Reach Out and Read is available at 70 health care locations across the state and reaches over 40,000 children ages 6 months - 5 years old each year.
The Benefits of Being Bilingual

Did you know that in Rhode Island, 20% of children ages 3 to 5 have families that primarily speak Spanish at home, while 66% primarily speak English at home, and 14% speak some other language at home?

Most of the world's population is bilingual or multilingual. There are many cognitive and economic benefits to being bilingual.Young children can successfully learn more than one language at a time, both at home and in school.
Books About Families for Children

  • The Family Book by Todd Parr (Ages 2-6): This colorful book celebrates the love we feel for our families and how every family is special in its own way.
  • Owl Babies by Martin Waddell (Ages 2-4): Available as a board book, Owl Babies tells the story of three baby owlets, Sarah, Percy, and Bill, who miss their mother when she is out hunting for food. It helps remind young children that mommy always comes back. 
  • Abuela by Arthur Dorros (Ages 3-7): Join Rosalba and her abuela, on a magical journey as they fly over the streets, sights, and people of New York City. The beautifully illustrated story is narrated in English, and incorporates Spanish phrases as Abuela points out places that they explore together. 
  • Fly Guy's Big Family by Tedd Arnold (Ages 4-8): In the latest installment of the best-selling and easy-to-read Fly Guy series, Fly Guy misses his family. His friend Buzz decides to throw him a surprise party and invite all the flies in Fly Guy's family. 
  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams (Ages 4-8): A Caldecott Honor recipient, this picture book tells the story of a daughter, mother, and grandmother saving their coins to buy a really comfortable chair for all to enjoy. 
  • In My Family/En mi familia by Carmen Lomas Garza (Aged 6-12) : This bilingual book, in English and Spanish, is a tribute to the family and community that shaped the author's childhood and her life. Lomas Garza's vibrant paintings and warm personal stories depict memories of growing up in the traditional Mexican-American community of her hometown of Kingsville, Texas. 
  • All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (Ages 8-12 or read aloud to younger children): A classic chapter book loved by generations of young readers, All of A Kind Family tells the story of five sisters living in New York City with their warm, loving family. Long before television and computers arrived on the scene, kids had lots of fun visiting the library, going to the market, and playing games while doing chores around the house.