BUFFALO, N.Y (WIVB) — Today, millions of children around America are reading the book ‘A Bear Ate your Sandwich”. It’s part of Read for the Record, a program through Jumpstart promoting literacy.
“Reading a story, doing the voices, getting lost in an adventure — it’s fun,” said Kim Stewart, the director at the Children’s center for success in Buffalo.
She says fun and fundamental — they’re the two things the program is working to ingrain in young minds.
“If you can’t read, you really aren’t going to enjoy much success in life,” said Michael Flaherty, the acting DA in Erie County who served as a celeb reader to a group of toddlers.
“It’s the foundation of everything we’re going to do later in life,” said Stewart.
The Children’s center has been participating in the program for more than a decade. Stewart says, over that time, she’s seen increasing interest in early literacy.
“Money and investment put into children truly does make a difference later,” said the director. “A lot of kids go to school already far behind.”
Studies show children from low-income families begin school with a smaller vocabulary than kids who are from more economically sound households. Stewart says these studies show kids who come from low-income households know 30-million words less than children who come from economically sound households.
The reading program and children’s center are working on closing that gap.
“It’s really making sure kids have the best start and foundations for all later learning that’ll happen,” said Stewart. “This is one day but it’s really about spreading that literacy awareness all the time.”