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Friday, February 15 , 2019, 9:33 pm | Overcast 49º


Santa Ynez High’s Future Educators Chapter Launches KindergartenReady Literacy Program

Members of the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School chapter of Future Educators of America meet at a local coffee shop to prepare to distribute fliers for their new KindergartenReady program.
Members of the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School chapter of Future Educators of America meet at a local coffee shop to prepare to distribute fliers for their new KindergartenReady program. (Santa Ynez Valley Union High School photo)

The Santa Ynez Valley Union High School chapter of Future Educators of America has launched KindergartenReady, a free early literacy program for parents and child-care providers.

Many of the club members already spend time after school tutoring elementary school students, and they wanted to expand their efforts to have a broader effect on education in their local community.

The students were inspired by a New York Times article that described a research study that showed sending texts with reading tips to parents can improve their children’s scores on literacy tests. With the study as their inspiration, they set about creating a similar program to implement locally.

Club members researched language acquisition and reflected on their own childhood literacy experiences to compile a year’s worth of simple tips to share with families and childcare providers.

Already accustomed to receiving one-way group texts from teachers through the free app Remind, the Future Educators chose to use the app to send weekly texts or emails to anyone who subscribes.

Each Thursday evening, subscribers receive a brief tip such as: “When looking at a book together, point out how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces” and “Have your child use a finger to trace a letter while saying the letter’s sound. Do this on paper, in sand or on a plate of sugar.”

“I am very excited about launching this project,” said Kendall Stevens, club president. “Education has always been important to me, and I believe opportunities to grow intellectually are hard to pass up. Our FEA team has set up an incredible opportunity that is free, simple and available at one's fingertips. I'm very excited to see the benefits this project will bring to our community.”

Parents, teachers and child-care providers are invited to subscribe to KindergartenReady by texting the message “@kready” to 81010. Subscribers will receive a confirmation text and subsequent weekly texts from adviser Peggy Kelly.

— Peggy Kelly is the Future Educators adviser and ROP Introduction to Education teacher for Santa Ynez Valley Union High School.

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