CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WILX) - For this edition of Schools Rule, WILX is highlighting a local program that’s giving kids a step up before they’re even in school.
Eaton County RESA is emphasizing Early Literacy for all children.
Eaton RESA is making sure children and parents have the tools they need to introduce reading at a young age and they’re doing it by bringing some of their favorite characters to life.
"What we're trying to do is help them learn the skills that they need to be successful readers when they get into school," said Jennifer McCaffrey, Early Childhood Supervisor at Eaton RESA.
Early literacy technically focuses on children ages zero to five and Eaton RESA says those can be some of the most crucial years to introduce reading skills.
"It really is a great way to bond with a child, to read, to spend time helping them understand some literacy basics and it gets them ready for school," said Nikki Selleck, GREAT Start Coordinator.
That’s why Eaton RESA is introducing parents and children to games and activities that focus on things like letter and color recognition.
"We want parents to actually do some of these things at home with their kids to start them off on the right path, so reading at home, doing fun games, rhyming, playing with sounds are all really skill builders for their later reading success," said McCaffrey.
"Things like singing silly rhyme songs in the car, it keeps your child entertained and it's fun, it's happy, and it's something that is actually an early literacy skill,” said Selleck.
Eaton RESA’s Early Literacy events, children’s favorite characters literally come to life. Children are able to read and interact with storybook favorites like Froggy and Super Red and at the end of the night, everyone gets a free book to take home.
"It's very rewarding to see the kids come in and get excited when they see Froggy and ladybug girl and super red sitting there and they get a book to take home and they're doing activities with their families, so it's very rewarding,” said Selleck.
Eaton RESA says focusing on Early Literacy is crucial for childhood development before sending the kids off to kindergarten and free preschool activities are available through Eaton RESA.
For more information on Eaton RESA’s preschool programs: click here.
For more information on Early Literacy programs: click here.