School Ready: Helping Families to Plan, Practice, and Prepare for School

School Ready: Helping Families to Plan, Practice, and Prepare for School

Cheryl Ann Slattery (Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTEPD.2018010104

Abstract

This article presents an innovative organizational design with the action oriented goal to get families involved in their children's literacy development prior to the start of formal schooling. A child's journey to become school ready is a responsibility shared by many. Asserting that community service builds greater good, involvement in a school-community events, as presented in this article, embraces the relationship between teachers, Foundations, and university students enrolled in a teacher education program and professors to connect with children, families, and other professionals. Within this organizational design, various activities have been created for the entire family, helping to plan, practice, and prepare children for school. Supporting the value of detailed planning and successful implementation, this event allows parents to gain information about school readying success, and engage their children in literacy activities. This develops the relationship between home, school, university, and community enhancing the well-being of society.
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Getting Ready For School

In early childhood policy and practice, one of the most pressing issues is ensuring that all children are ready for successful school experiences. It is crucial to consider society’s definition of school readiness from the age of children to each child’s independent abilities. The definition of school readiness should take into consideration that not all children develop at the same time or in the same way; also, it should include different areas of expectations: Cognitive, physical, social, and emotional competence. School readiness is a collective effort that involves more than just the children. It encompasses the families, early environments, schools, communities, and the children. The development of a child’s skills is strongly influenced and defined by the interactions prior to coming to school (Clarke & Kurtz-Costes, 1997; Maxwell & Clifford, 2004). Parental behaviors that have been identified as important predictors of children’s cognitive and academic growth include shared reading, reading to children, accessibility to books, taking trips to the library, and providing academically oriented activities (Christian, Morrison, & Bryant, 1998; Neuman, 1996). When children are engaged in active discussions with stories, their vocabulary growth, understanding, and recall of stories, language production, and knowledge of print conventions are enhanced. These skills correlate to a child’s reading abilities and subsequent success in school.

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