In order to help children learn to read, as well as continue the habit, the town of Iva, South Carolina, Anderson School District 3, and United Way have teamed up to create a “reading activity trail.” The trail is meant for children ages 2 to 5, and intends for kids to have a head start for when they ultimately go to school.
A Unique Start To Reading
The trail has been placed at Elise Evans Memorial Park, named after a school teacher who taught kindergarten in her own home until public schools began offering pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes.
With such a fitting name, the trail lists ten different activities. Kids must read the sign to complete the activity, and when they do, they can scan a code for a free kid’s meal at Subway. The activities are simple, such as hopscotch, so that most children can complete it after reading it.
Tammi Collins, the community impact associate for United Way, states: “It’s turning everyday moments into learning moments.” The hope is that, on top of being a learning activity, it will also foster and grow the relationship between parent and child. And, of course, introduce children to reading.
Kids who enjoy reading and read at their grade level have a better chance of graduating high school on time. There are also multiple cognitive benefits to reading on a regular basis.
History Behind The Initiative
United Way affiliates teamed together to form Born Learning Upstate SC, with the goal of providing reading and learning related resources to children and their families. The initiative wants to encourage children on reading and language development as soon as possible, so that they are practically “born learning.”
The trail is a result of the program, and is the first of many resources to come. They hope that it’ll be a fun environment that will help raise a child’s desire to read in the first place, and build a foundation for grade school and above.
It’s not a secret that Americans have not been reading lately: according to The Atlantic, 23% of Americans didn’t read a book in the year of 2014. For teachers, getting children to read is a challenge, because that’s something that should have been learned at home – and often, that isn’t the case. Any sort of start to reading could be huge, even if it’s not exactly in book format. Reading trails shouldn’t stop at just a park in South Carolina, but we will have to see how well it works.
What do you think of reading trail? Would you participate?
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Featured image via Independent Mail
h/t Independent Mail