We all know this common saying and understand it to be a metaphor, but here in Putnam City, only part is a metaphor. Each year, our parents get to participate in a program that has transformational results for our children called Early Birds. Here’s a bit more from its leader, Principal Kelly Suchy.
Early Birds is a school readiness program for children from birth to age 4 that is offered to parents at no cost. This program is offered 3 times each year (fall, winter and spring) to help parents provide early literacy activities at home. The activities allow parents to engage with their children in a meaningful, fun way. Each session, the parent gets a different set of educational toys and a book. The instructor models the activities to parents and encourages them to read, play, sing, hold and talk to their child each day.
Through these activities, families are preparing their children to enter kindergarten “ready to learn.” Four out of the last five years, over 90% of children whose parent attended the Early Birds Program, met the literacy benchmark entering kindergarten. This compares to around 65% of children, who did not have a parent attend Early Birds.
The Early Birds Program was developed by an Early Childhood Specialist, based on the PASS skills (Oklahoma’s state education standards) and provides truly great “bang for the buck” for anyone looking to support an amazing school readiness program!
In my teaching career, I’ve seen few things that have a more powerful impact on children’s scores than this program. That is why the Putnam City Foundation’s 2016 #GivingTuesday campaign is focused on getting as many people as possible to donate $55 which would cover the cost of one parent literacy kit. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing more about Early Birds and the people who believe in this transformational program. We hope that you will join us in keeping it strong in Putnam City for many years to come so that more of our little early birds can get their own worm!
#GivingTuesday is a movement to celebrate and provide incentives to give—the 2016 iteration will be held on November 29, 2016. This effort harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners—nonprofits, businesses and corporations as well as families and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. #GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they celebrate and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday harnesses the power of social media to create a global movement dedicated to giving around the world.