Alcorn promotes early literacy among children

Alcorn promotes early literacy among children

13 Dr Seuss BD 

On March 19, 2013, the Alcorn State University Child Development Laboratory Center hosted its second annual Early Literacy Reading Celebration in conjunction with Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

One hundred and ninety kids ages 2-4 from schools in Port Gibson, Fayette, and Natchez, Mississippi, joined Alcorn kids in the Ray Johnson Auditorium to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America Day. Young scholars listened to guest readers sharing some of the most popular children’s books, interacted with the Cat in the Hat, and engaged in other literacy activities aimed at providing positive educational experiences and encouraging the love of reading. Children and teachers also received books, pencils, bookmarks, stickers and other educational materials. The also enjoyed a tour of the Alternative Animal Complex with Dr. Cassandra Vaughn, University veterinarian, School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences.

“The main purpose of this celebration was to focus public attention on the need of young children and their families to recognize the early childhood programs and services they require,” said LaTasha Brown-Holmes, director of the ASU Child Development Laboratory Center, Department of Human Sciences. “We make sure the kids feel excited about reading, and show the teachers how to make it both educational and fun for their students.”

“Literacy is tied to students’ academic success, so it is important to develop those skills early in life,” stated Maggie Stevenson, director of early childhood, MPB Education. MPB Education Services provides programs, services and support to educators, students and parents in Mississippi that are vital to the educational mission set forth by the legislature. It is the hope of Education Services that all children will enter school with the foundation needed for academic and social success.”

As a part of the program for early childcare professionals, Dr. Claudia Miner, vice-president of Development and director of the Upstart Program for Waterford Institute, gave a presentation on the Waterford Early Reading Program, a complete language arts curriculum for young learners that covers crucial skills such as phonemic awareness, phonics, text comprehension, vocabulary, readiness skills, as well as writing and oral fluency.

“The presentation gave us an opportunity to discuss research opportunities for the ASU Child Development Laboratory Center, local childcare programs, head starts and public schools as an Early Literacy Pilot Program for Southwest Mississippi,” shared Brown-Holmes. “Students, faculty, staff and center directors were exposed to valuable information about the early literacy software available for young children.”