The moment your child enters the world, he or she embarks on a lifetime of learning—and you become their first and most important teacher. By talking, singing, reading, and engaging your child with loving words and snuggles throughout the day, you’re helping their brain to develop and providing a strong foundation for success in school and life.
One critical milestone in a child’s education is third-grade reading proficiency, because children who are strong readers by the time they leave third grade are prepared to read the books and materials covered in higher grades.
Resources for Families
Many of our Campaign partners offer resources you can use to support your child’s language and literacy development. Here are just a few.
- Georgia School Reports: The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) provides reports for all public schools in Georgia with A-F letter grades based on school performance, performance on state tests, the student body makeup, and graduation rate. This helps parents, students, educators, and communities understand how their schools are performing and focus improvement efforts on the most critical challenges.
- Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library: Dolly Parton aims to foster a love of reading among preschool children and their families by giving children one free, age-appropriate book per month from birth to age 5. Parents can register their children for this program that’s available in Georgia in Bartow, Camden, Catoosa, Clarke, Dade, Elbert, Hart, Lincoln, Lowndes, Lumpkin, Oconee, Richmond, Stephens, and Walker counties and Savannah.
- Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy: FFCL provides books for local communities to prepare all Georgia children ages 0-5 for reading and learning success.
- myON Digital Library: During the summer months, myON makes its digital library of more than 10,000 books for children and youth available to Georgians for free.
- 1,000 Books B4 Kindergarten: Public libraries across the state encourage parents to read 1,000 books with their children before the age of 5 through this fun and easy program.
- Quality Rated: When all children and families in your community have access to quality early-learning opportunities, more children will be prepared for success when they arrive in kindergarten. Bright from the Start: The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) offers an online search tool to help parents find quality child care and a manual to help child care programs become Quality Rated.
- Ready4KGA: Developed by educational researchers, Ready4KGA is an evidence-based text messaging program for parents of newborns through 5-year-olds provided at no cost that are customized for Georgia. Research shows that receiving fun facts and easy tips can significantly increase children’s learning.
- Summer Meal Programs: Many children go hungry during the summer and can fall behind in school. To ensure all kids have access to nutritious meals and learning opportunities to keep them on track year round, DECAL and the GaDOE have a summer meal program locator.
- Talk With Me Baby: This Georgia-based collaborative works to ensure all infants and children receive abundant Language Nutrition to support early brain development. They have developed a wide array of resources for parents, caregivers, nurses, educators, and concerned citizens.
- Words2Reading: Words2Reading brings families, caregivers, and teachers the best resources in developing early language skills and reading readiness from birth to age 8. Grow your young reader through easy-to-follow videos, web links, downloadable documents, e-books, and audio clips all available online.
The Key Data
Campaign partners are sharing data to help parents like you understand factors affecting children’s ability to read proficiently.
- Student Attendance: The achievement of children who miss more than five days of school is lower, and these absences impact test scores and high-school graduation rate. Check out Attendance Works to learn how parents can help increase student attendance.
- School Climate Star Rating: Schools that provide a warm, welcoming, and nurturing environment to students and staff tend to have higher attendance rates, better test scores, and higher graduation rates. The GaDOE evaluates and measures school climate for parents and stakeholders with a 1-5 star rating. The comprehensive report that schools receive helps them identify and address areas in need of improvement.
- K-3 Out-of-School Suspensions: When children aren’t in school, they are missing the opportunity to learn and be taught appropriate behavior.
Check out the latest news and stories that affect children in Georgia.
What Can I Do?
- Find a medical home for your family and ensure your child gets all well-child checkups and recommended immunizations. Find access to income-assisted insurance for children.
- Talk with your children, tell them stories, and read to them at all ages, beginning before birth.
- Find quality child care centers for your children.
- Learn more about your local schools and how to get involved.
- Browse through our stories for ideas and inspiration, and then come back to share your own success stories as your local efforts expand and deepen.
- Hear more about our four-pillar framework for achieving reading proficiency by third grade.
- Check out relevant data points for monitoring the progress of conditions related to achieving reading proficiency by third grade—and use our data tools.
- Find more resources to assist your child.
- Use the Community Locator to see if your community has joined the Campaign and, if not, find out how to bring yours together to get kids reading.