ST. PARIS – A recent U.S. News education headline claims there is a national reading crisis that needs to be addressed. Graham Superintendent Kirk Koennecke agrees and traveled with more than 30 delegates from Ohio to present his case for early literacy needs at the AASA National Superintendent’s Conference. His presentation focused on how to build a literacy foundation, and he made a case for the need for more early literacy programs and community partnerships to grow them.
“Reading to your child at any age, from one day old, to 5, to 15, makes such a huge difference in the preparations for learning necessary to succeed, not just in school, but in life,” Koennecke said. “I was struck by the curiosity and questions we got when we shared how we built our foundation here. So many are not aware, or are not doing this type of work, and we need to address it now.”
The Read Imagine Soar! Literacy Foundation was created last summer and is funded by a Community Connector Grant. Its goal is simple: to remedy the readiness crisis in the immediate region. After just five months, the Foundation has now signed up over 385 children to receive early literacy resources and free books for their families to use to foster a love of reading before children enter the Graham schools.
“Our community partners recognize that this is crucial to the long-term health of our schools and our communities. When a parent takes time to model and read to their children at home, there is no greater transfer of learning. Twenty minutes a day makes a world of difference, brings families closer together, and ensures readiness for school. We want to see thousands of children receiving these benefits in the coming years,” Koennecke said.
Submitted by Graham Local Schools.