Literacy Programs

Early literacy is critical as a foundation for future success and the building blocks for individual and community development. Research shows that it is never too early to start exposing kids to early literacy development and that it’s these early experiences that help shape brain development. Early literacy skills support future language, reading and writing development and are most successful when connected to positive interactions in real-life settings with people and literacy materials. By connecting with community volunteers and partnering with local businesses and organizations, we are offering high quality programs and services to enhance early literacy skills for youth on the North Coast in both reading and math.

Early Literacy Partners Program
(Kindergarten — 2nd grade reading & math)

Early Literacy Volunteer Recruitment:
   Chérie Zygaczenko
, Literacy Program Coordinator | (707) 445-7007

Currently, less than half of our Kindergarten through Third grade students are reading at proficient levels. Providing early intervention is critical, especially in reading as it strongly correlates to future academic success. Research shows that if a child is not reading proficiently by the time they finish the 3rd grade, they are 75% less likely to graduate from High School.

In collaboration with the Decade of Difference and Humboldt State University, we are hoping to close this gap by offering early literacy support to kids starting in Kindergarten and First grade. A child reading with an adult is one of the most effective strategies to support early literacy growth. Through this program, we offer high quality training, resources, and placement for community volunteers to work with students one-on-one, twice a week throughout our region. The program is designed to help benefit “reluctant or struggling” readers and reinforce what the teacher is doing in the classroom so it’s an enhanced learning experience for those identified students needing extra support.

Many people think of mathematics as separate from language and literacy; however, when you discuss and debate about mathematics you have to be precise in language and thinking and have the ability to explain your reasoning. Literacy in mathematics also becomes critical in the ability to understanding definitions and word meanings and how to appropriately describe words and objects. For this reason, we also offer training and placement for volunteers interested in tutoring second grade students in math.

Financial Literacy, Savings, & Planning

Chérie Zygaczenko, Literacy Program Coordinator | (707) 445-7007

It is becoming increasingly important for young people to learn to earn, save, and manage their finances. By building school and community partnerships, we are placing increased emphasis on the importance of student savings, financial literacy and future planning. A lack of financial literacy is a major roadblock on the path to college and future success; however, recent information put forth by the FDIC suggested that a child with a college savings account is seven times more likely to attend college, than one without, regardless of income, race, or academic achievement. The National Financial Capability Study conducted by the FINRA Foundation and supported by the Treasury, found that younger adults struggle with basic personal finance concepts and overestimate their ability to perform simple financial calculations.

By acknowledging these challenges, we are hoping to break down barriers that currently limit young people in their quest for future success. We are achieving this through high quality, age appropriate interactive activities and curriculum that have been developed and are being delivered through collaborative partnerships with several financial institutions and business organizations in our community for students throughout the K-12 continuum.

Pre-School Storytimes

Chérie Zygaczenko, Literacy Program Coordinator | (707) 445-7007

Through an education grant from Target Corporation, we were able to create story time kits in an effort to support community wide efforts centered on issues such as early literacy and connecting early age children (0-5 year olds) and their families to their neighborhood schools. Through facilitated reading times hosted at the school by Library Tech’s and/or volunteers, the kits were compiled in an effort to complement and enhance, rather than replicate, existing library collections.

The kits contain extensive materials including books (including some in Spanish) songs, finger puppets, and more with specific themes we know to be of high interest and importance to this age group.

Our intent is to bring early age children (0-5) and their families within a community to their future school and ease the transition between home/preschool and kindergarten. It is also our intent that the activities provided will be models for families to incorporate at home, thereby increasing overall literacy and improving readiness of future kindergarteners.