Wed. Jan 19th, 2022
literacy at home
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The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction just launched a new tool to aid parents in helping their young children learn to read–the Literacy at Home program.

According to a DPI press release issued on November 10, 2021, the program encourages literacy in children from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. It’s an online resource, providing evidence-based instructional practices and reading activities for caregivers and parents to utilize at home.

By giving caregivers a greater understanding of how children gain literacy skills, parents become better equipped to help their little ones learn how to read.

Some of the concepts explained include the following:

  • Phonetics
  • Phonemic awareness,
  • Phonological awareness
  • Spelling
  • Fluency
  • Oral language
  • Vocabulary expansion
  • Print awareness
  • Reading comprehension

The program keeps parents and communities in mind. However, it also aligns with the newly-implemented program utilized by teachers across the state. The program rolling out statewide, Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS), addresses the science of reading from a research-based perspective. The LETRS program will roll out over the next three years to give teachers sharper tools to support early readers.

In April of 2021, the Excellent Public Schools Act (SB387) passed the NC House and Senate. The goal is to enable every student to read at least at grade level, if not above. Besides that, they aim to help students progress in reading skills after they master the basics.

A Closer Look at the Literacy at Home Program

Here is an overview of the skills parents can help their learners master by engaging with this program.

  • Print awareness: Children start reading only once them begin to understand the idea of printed words on a page.
  • Phonological and phonemic awareness: These concepts work together when children begin to understand the parts of language. Rhyming, recognizing sounds, and making compound words out of small words all stem from these skills. In other words, hese are “sounds” skills not written words.
  • Vocabulary: Once children start to read, they begin to expand their knowledge of words.
  • Phonics: After children develop phonological awareness, they learn to link word sounds to written letters. Moreover, they begin to recognize words with greater confidence.

Besides helping parents learn the basics of helping their child learn to read, the Literacy at Home program provides access to an extensive online library. They also remind parents that their local public libraries are a treasure trove of free resources.

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