In many rural communities, the local school is the only place children might have access to books. For children who don’t have access to books, or have family members who read to them regularly, their reading scores are far below the national average. By the time they’re 3 years old, children from low-income families have been exposed to 30 million fewer words than their more affluent counterparts.
One of Capital Region ESD 113’s Sound to Harbor Early Learning Program’s goals is to promote the love of reading to families and their children. With today’s influx of electronic devices and accessible screen time, reading often takes a back seat when children make choices. With the help of The Cat in the Hat, the students in the Washington Elementary Head Start program in Hoquaim enjoyed an “up-close-and-personal” experience to the magic of storytelling and reading. Along with reading from a couple of Dr. Seuss’ books, the Cat encouraged children to take home their Raising a Reader book bags each week and have reading time with their families. As the Cat would say, “Reading is the thing to do!”