Teach/Read/Succeed! reaches out to 200 SHA families
SPRINGFIELD The Talk/Read/Succeed! (TRS) program, an effort to boost early literacy skills, has started outreach efforts to 200 Springfield Housing Authority (SHA) families.
The two-year effort was funded with a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant of $390,000 and serves as a major component of the READ! Reading Success by Fourth Grade (RS4G) Initiative, an effort led by the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation to ensure that every child in Springfield is a proficient reader by fourth grade.
"When we began this work, two-thirds of Springfield third graders did not read proficiently," Sally Fuller, project director at the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, said. "Talk/Read/Suc-ceed! engages families in the work of preparing their children to succeed."
The TRS program will use the family-school-community framework of RS4G to organize the engagement of 200 families living in SHA units and will actively involve them in building their support for their children's early literacy skill development. The holistic approach of the TRS program will seek to seamlessly wrap services and education around participating families.
"The model of Talk/Read/Succeed! is one of intensive involvement with families," William H. Abrashkin, executive director of SHA, said. "The way children learn is by looking at the example set by their parents, and if the parents are engaged in literacy then the children learn that this is the way you approach life; this is the way you improve yourself."
After the outreach effort is completed, the TRS program will offer a series of connected interventions including parent education to build child development and early literacy knowledge and skills; access to preschool for 3 and 4 year-olds and literacy-rich summer programming for 5 to 8 year-olds; services to help families increase stability, improve health, and progress toward economic self-sufficiency; and development of school-family partnerships that value the involvement of families in their children's education.
"We're knocking on doors to find what parents need and are interested in to help their children be successful," Rosemary Hernandez, program director of Developing Early Childhood Educators at The Regional Employment Board of Hampden County Inc., said. "Basically, Talk/Read/Succeed! connects the community, parents, the home environment, and the schools."
The TRS program collaboration includes The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Springfield Education Association, SHA, Springfield Public Schools, United Way of Hampden County, and a number of community providers.