Meeting will jumpstart new early childhood literacy program.

February 5, 2017

1000 booksMeeting will jumpstart new early childhood literacy program.

#OceanaCountyNews #ReadEarlyReadOften

HART — The Community Foundation for Oceana County will host the first Strategic Doing Meeting for the new Read Early, Read Often program Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Oceana ESD building, at 844 Griswold St.

Everyone is welcome to be a part of the kick-off of the program and participate in the first discussion of what this initiative will look like in the county.

Read Early, Read Often is geared towards encouraging parents to read to their children starting at birth. Reading early and often teaches children to listen and focus, introduces new words, builds imagination and celebrates our world, improves school readiness and future success in school and life. Given data showing that 67 percent of Oceana third graders are not proficient in English language arts, community partners began looking for ways to bolster early literacy. The initiative is led by the Community Foundation for Oceana County, and coordinated by Hannah Juhl, an AmeriCorps VISTA member hosted by the Foundation.

The first five years are the most formative in the brain development of a child. Babies and toddlers who are read to often will have heard as many as 30 million more words than children who aren’t read to before preschool. “The sad and frustrating fact for educators and a community at large that is struggling to overcome poverty barriers, is that 4-year-olds in poor families are often a year behind their peers in terms of educational development,” said Juhl.

“This program will need the help of many volunteers to help spread the word, distribute books and advocate for this campaign. We are hoping for a big turn-out at our first meeting,” said Juhl. Interested persons can also contact Juhl at for more information.

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