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literacy tutoring...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
...started again today. A run of eight weeks, meeting with a pair of four'ish year olds to help them acquire some pre-reading skills to be better prepared for Kindergarten. Amazing to think that pre-schoolers need to know so much to be ready before they ever get into the first classroom. They have to know letters, colors, numbers, follow directions, behavior/civilized into compliance for organized education.

You have to know x,y, and z to be ready for Kindergarten, where you need to learn more to be ready for what is expected of you when you get into the first grade. A continuum of learning, that adds on to skills you should have before you walk in the classroom, or you are at a disadvantage from the moment you enter. One of the little people I met for the first time today didn't know any of those basic things. No letters, no colors, sadly could not spell the first name. I'm not saying not able to write it, or identify the letters, just simply could not spell it.

Now would be a good time to take a deep breath and say 'Thank You for Being Literate'. Who ever those people were who prodded, and pleaded, poked and begged, pushed and shoved, dragged you along in those early years. Grandmothers, teachers, neighbors, family members, friends, aunties - all doing there part to make you the reader you are today.

The book we read: "Have You Seen My Duckling?" Lots of fun, interesting, colorful illustrations, with ducks to count on every page, animals to identify, a hidden duck to discover. And only those five title words printed repeatedly on each page.

I've been doing this for several years, going to a different school, on a particular day of the week, for eight times. Reading the same books to the little people each session,along with four other volunteers who read that same book on a different day of the week. Guiding and helping them write their names or numbers. Talking about colors, shapes, animals, identifying things in each of the series of books. Trying to nudge these little ones along to get them up to speed, where they need to be to take the next step into the world of reading.

If you are gonna succeed, you gotta be able to read.

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