How to make people more aware of the importance of child literacy
People (especially parents) should understand that the literacy skills that their children acquire in their early years, such as in the preschool, is important since it would determine their reading and writing skills later on in elementary and high school (Baroody & Dobbs-Oates, 2011). Consequently, the reading skills acquired in first grade would determine the reading achievement in high school.
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Therefore, literacy skills acquired earlier in life is very vital. This is because it forms the foundation of later writing and reading success. However, it is very unfortunate that most children entering kindergarten do so without the most basic of skills. Children require basic skills in order to make them learn.
The best way to make parents and guardians aware of the importance of child literacy is to communicate to them the results of researches that have studied the relationship between early childhood literacy levels and literacy levels in the later life of the child (Cabell et al., 2011).
The moment they understand the importance of the child’s early life in shaping his or her later life, they will be more enlightened. They will be more determined to change their attitudes towards some important aspects of child bearing.
People should also be made to understand that literacy learning is a preparation for a lifelong learning ability. This is because it goes in a cycle beginning with early childhood development. It then goes to youth development where there are various transitions. It ends up with the participation of the adults in the development of skills and learning.
Government policies to increase reading and writing skills for early school years
The government of Canada realized that despite the literacy interventions that had been attempted, the cycle of low literacy had not reduced. It agreed with the Committee that the issue of low literacy was an urgent matter that needed to be addressed. Therefore, it expressed its desire to combat it and welcomed the valuable contributions from the parliamentarians.
The committee analyzed the situation and provided advice concerning the policy development in Canada. The Committee evaluated the issue of literacy and described it as a lifecycle. The only way to combat it was through adopting a lifelong learning approach. This would mean that early childhood development must be observed with caution. Youth development and transitions were also to be carefully guided.
The committee also stressed that literacy learning did not only occur in institutions such as schools. It could also be developed at home. The reason why other interventions that had been attempted earlier had failed was that the interventions were all school based. The government was interested in attempting the family literacy intervention. This was an approach that would enhance the literacy levels of both generations.
This would be achieved through the participation of the children’s family members in the coordination of the programs intended to increase levels of literacy.
Baroody and Dobbs-Oates (2011) also supported this approach since they conducted a research and concluded that the expectations of the children’s parents concerning their grades were significantly correlated with their children’s literacy interest. In order to take the policy and make it better, the parents and teachers should collaborate and make the child’s experience in the earlier years to be impact-filled.
Importance of child literacy level for the child’s future
The level of literacy in the early years of the child is important. This is because it would ensure that the foundation is properly set and that the future years would be accompanied with greater literacy development (Wong, 2008). The success of the early years in literacy development would determine the success in the later years.
The cognitive development of every child could be elevated through ensuring a good learning environment in the early years of development. With a proper environment during the early developmental years, the child would be able to start school on a high note. The child will be more ready to start school and chances for success would be greater.
If the child is successful in early school years, he or she is likely to lead a successful life in later years, be it in the high school or university. With high grades in the university level, the student would be able to get a high-paying job. Other cultural and social rewards are likely to accompany the student’s achievements (Campbell & Ramey, 1994).
How to press for policy change in order to promote child literacy skills
Since it has been determined that child literacy levels are determined mainly in the early years, it is only logical to put in place measures to ensure that this is enhanced. Parents must be enlightened about the importance and value of early childhood education.
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When they realize that early childhood education is the foundation of the child’s future success, they will in a better position to intervene. The subsequent follow up of the child’s literacy skills development will also be important to ensure that the child’s development is exponential.
Baroody, A., & Dobbs-Oates, J. (2011). Child and parent characteristics, parental expectations, and child behaviors related to preschool children’s interest in literacy. Early Child Development and Care, 181(3), 345-359.
Cabell, S., Justice, L., Piasta, S., Curenton, S., Wiggins, A., Turnbull, P., & Petscher, Y. (2011). The impact of teacher responsively education on preschoolers’ language and literacy skills. American Journal of Speech-Language pathology, 20, 315-330.
Campbell, F., & Ramey, C. (1994). Effects of early intervention on intellectual and academic achievement: A follow-up study of children from low-income families. Child Development, 65(2), 684-698.
Wong, M. (2008). How preschool children learn in Hong Kong and Canada: A cross-cultural study. Early Years, 28(2), 115-133.