Why Preschool Literacy?
What makes preschool literacy so vital? Early literacy sets the foundation for a child’s lifelong learning and academic success by assisting with:
Brain Development: Early literacy activities such as reading, singing, and talking to young children can stimulate brain development and help build neural pathways that support cognitive development.
Language Development: Exposure to books and other literacy materials can help children develop their language skills, including vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension.
Academic Success: Children who start school with strong early literacy skills are more likely to succeed academically and continue to have positive attitudes toward learning.
Social Skills: Early literacy activities can also help children develop important social skills, such as listening, following directions, and taking turns.
Emotional Development: Reading and other literacy activities can help children understand their emotions and develop empathy for others.
The First of its Kind
The Early Pages Programme (EPP) is the first universal emergent literacy program designed with and for the Eastern Caribbean. A preschool pilot launched at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year in Grenada with a soft launch in Nevis. After more than 2 years of diligent, concentrated work in pilot schools, the Early Pages Programme was born. The pilot far exceeded our expectations in terms of increasing student motivation, parental and community engagement, and professional development opportunities for preschool teachers. Demand for the program quickly spread, and we recognized the opportunity to capture and share our framework, approach, and methodology to extend the program to more schools.
The Early Pages Programme aims to raise childhood literacy and prepare children for lifelong success through 3 intentional actions:
Integrate literacy as an explicit aspect of the preschool environment
Increase parental engagement
Build awareness and community participation in early childhood literacy
The Need is Great
As the Early Pages Programme prepares to launch we need many resources to start off on the right foot. Below are some of the items we have committed to purchasing for each preschool involved in the program. This is only a fraction of the cost to implement the program because this program goes beyond just providing books and resources and requires hands-on support to make sure each school is set up for success.
Big Books: We recommend beginning with 7 or 8 Big Book Titles with 1 title used per month as an anchor for school activities, curriculum support, and learning initiatives. Some schools choose to use the same title for all age groups during the month of activities, while others have opted to stagger the titles through different age groups and classrooms on a cycle.
Little Books: We need multiple copies per title that will be used for unstructured time, breakout lessons, and home-lending programmes.
Board books: These are needed for independent learning and play, occupational therapy support, and reading circles.
You Can Help
Preschool literacy programs are crucial in setting the foundation for children’s future academic success. As a donor, you can play a critical role in supporting the expansion and success of our programs by giving your most generous gift today.
For the 2023-24 school year, we will be launching 46 preschools with a total cost of $115,000. Will you help us provide these crucial programs for the youngest readers?
Your gifts will help ensure that every child has access to quality education and gains the foundational literacy skills needed to succeed in life. With your support, the Early Pages Programme will be a beacon for young ones all across the Eastern Caribbean.