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Donor Makes Literacy Dreams A Reality

The answers to some problems are so obvious that our failure to recognize and act on them is confounding. As educators, for example, we know that those children who start behind, stay behind. They almost never catch up, although we spend millions in the quest. The one circumstance most certain to hold children back is the absence of basic literacy skills. They can't read. And, because they can't read, they have no facility with numbers, either.
The answers to some problems are so obvious that our failure to recognize and act on them is confounding. As educators, for example, we know that those children who start behind, stay behind. They almost never catch up, although we spend millions in the quest. The one circumstance most certain to hold children back is the absence of basic literacy skills. They can't read. And, because they can't read, they have no facility with numbers, either.

The problem is obvious. So, too, is the solution.  Teach the children to read, and teach them early.

It has been the enduring dream of caring professionals that a way might be found to marshal the combined public and private resources of this community in a concerted effort to bring our 0-5 population to early literacy. Through requests, almost $4 million has been pledged by state offices and organizations to use towards developing the School Readiness Project. Cornell University has agreed to develop the assessment metrics and to provide training. Teachers' College at Columbia University has agreed to conduct a rigorous assessment and a study that will track the progress of our children over time.

This article appeared as an op-ed in the June 25th, 2006 publication of The Star Gazette. The author, Carl Hayden, is the chair of the Chemung County School Readiness Project.

Published Monday, Jun. 26, 2006

Donor Makes Literacy Dreams A Reality

The answers to some problems are so obvious that our failure to recognize and act on them is confounding. As educators, for example, we know that those children who start behind, stay behind. They almost never catch up, although we spend millions in the quest. The one circumstance most certain to hold children back is the absence of basic literacy skills. They can't read. And, because they can't read, they have no facility with numbers, either.

The problem is obvious. So, too, is the solution.  Teach the children to read, and teach them early.

It has been the enduring dream of caring professionals that a way might be found to marshal the combined public and private resources of this community in a concerted effort to bring our 0-5 population to early literacy. Through requests, almost $4 million has been pledged by state offices and organizations to use towards developing the School Readiness Project. Cornell University has agreed to develop the assessment metrics and to provide training. Teachers' College at Columbia University has agreed to conduct a rigorous assessment and a study that will track the progress of our children over time.

This article appeared as an op-ed in the June 25th, 2006 publication of The Star Gazette. The author, Carl Hayden, is the chair of the Chemung County School Readiness Project.

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