Rhode Island Reads to Young Children

Led by United Way of Rhode Island and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, Rhode Island Reads: The Campaign for 3rd Grade Reading is working to double the number of third-graders who can read on grade level by 2025. In April and May, we have been teaming up with the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children to build awareness of the need for high-quality early learning opportunities for young children by organizing reading events in early learning programs across the state. 

Thirty-six guest readers participated --  26 state legislators and 10 community leaders, including the Director of the Department of Human Services, the Director of the Department of Labor and Training, and members of United Way of Rhode Island's Women United Leadership Group. 

State Senators included: Senate President Ruggerio, Senator Goodwin, Senator Conley, Senator Archambault, Senator Quezada, Senator Goldin, Senator Cano, Senator Euer, Senator Calkin, Senator DiPalma, Senator Miller, Senator Crowley, and Senator Lynch Prata. 

State Representatives included: Representative Abney, Representative Morgan, Representative Regunberg, Representative Tobon, Representative Casimiro, Representative Carson, Representative Amore, Representative Morin, Representative Diaz, Representative McNamara, Representative Slater, Representative Giarrusso, and Representative Ruggiero.  

Click here to see the photo album!
Rhode Island Reads Advocacy Agenda

Achieving our goal of doubling the number of 3rd graders reading proficiently requires focused attention and resources dedicated to improving the learning and development of children from birth through age 8. 

Please see the 2018 Rhode Island Reads Advocacy Agenda to promote policies and practices that expand opportunities for children birth through age 8!
MIT Study - Adult-Child Conversations Boost Children's Brain Development

MIT cognitive scientists have now found that conversation between an adult and a child appears to change the child's brain, and that this back-and-forth conversation is actually more critical to language development than the word gap. The researchers hope their findings will encourage parents, teachers, and caregivers to engage their young children in more conversation. Reading to young children can help promote conversations between adults and children!
Reducing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades

The Providence Journal recently featured a story on Hennessy Elementary School's pilot program to reduce chronic absence. The school's chronic absence rate is down from 17% in 2016 to 8% this year. The goal is to emphasize that attendance matters to children, teachers, and parents.  

To learn more about strategies to reduce chronic absence, sign up to participate in the national Attendance Awareness Campaign webinar on May 8 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

To learn more about chronic early absence in Rhode Island, please see the latest chronic early absence indicator from the 2018 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook.
Five Culturally Relevant Books for Preschoolers

Research shows that reading comprehension in ELL students gets a boost when kids are exposed to culturally relevant books. 

Check out this list of books with diverse characters for children to connect with!
Free Family Literacy Event on May 12

On Saturday, May 12, from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Reach out and Read Rhode Island and Neighborhood Health Plan of RI will be hosting READ and ROMP, a free family literacy event, at the Roger Williams Park & Carousel (1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence). 

This community event for children and their families will offer fun learning-focused activities based on favorite children's books including story times, activity/craft stations such as animal mask-making, and games. (Activities are best suited for children 7 and under but all ages are welcome!) Free books, carousel rides, and snacks will be provided, and a bouncy house will be on site. The event will occur rain or shine.
Kids Reading Across Rhode Island

Rhode Island's One Book, One State community read program for kids -  Kids Reading Across Rhode Island - is kicking off its 9th year! This program, offered in partnership with the Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, encourages students across the state in grades 4 through 6 to read the same book, and engage in community discussions and programs. 

This year's selection is The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. PĂ©rez. Come to the State House on Saturday, May 19, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a public presentation and book signing by the author, and activities and games presented by Rhode Island libraries and community organizations. Each family in attendance will receive an autographed copy of the book while supplies last!