Community Impact Coordinator, Kerry Davies, reports on a success story from the United We Read campaign
The first day of school is such a milestone day for most children on many levels. With the child’s readiness for school on day one being a predictor for future success at school, it is indeed an important day.
So with that in mind, the days that all occur before that one day, are vital.
Meet Amber, a shy 3 year old living in a highly vulnerable demographic area. I met her on day one of the United We Read program. I registered her and her little sister Jade as child one and two in the United We Read program and from April 2014 Amber and Jade began receiving book so very month from United Way.
Two years later in April 2016 Amber and Jade (and their Mum) attended Read Aloud at the Zoo Day. Amber has recently turned 5 and graduated from the United We Read program, she has also started school. 9 weeks ago Amber stood on the school ground for her One Day moment at school. Was she ready for school or was she not?
At Read Aloud at the Zoo Day we had guest readers read to the crowd: an international author, a minister and a local media personality; but that is not when the magic happened. The magic for me was when after they had finished and the shy Amber sat up in the guest readers chair in front of the crowd, leaned in to the microphone and confidently read to the crowd. Her Mum proudly telling me that she is on reading level 15 (my own daughter started school 9 weeks ago and she is not on that level).
During this 2 year period when we first met Amber she has had her own set of challenges. As a 4 year old, her parents separated and Amber did not cope well with this new change at home. The family home had to be sold. The three of them moved to anew home in another area. Mum went out to work. Amber started school.
Alongside these challenges Amber continued to receive the monthly books through the United We Read program. This meant she had access to quality books; her Mum made every effort to read regularly with the children; the three of them regularly attended United We Read events held in the community.
So I ask you again, on day one was Amber school ready? Yes, she sure was!
For Further Information contact Kerry Davies, United Way SA,
P 08 7002 0140