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Culture
Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Professor Helps Implement NAACP Reads Locally

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Getting ready for the first day of kindergarten shouldn’t be just about shopping for school supplies; it should be a process of talking to and reading to children regularly from birth. In fact, no other activity is as highly associated with school preparedness or eventual academic success as literacy, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at Missouri State University, is helping Springfield’s NAACP chapter implement NAACP Reads, a national program, in the region to increase the number of students who are ready to learn in kindergarten with a particular focus on children from low-income families and minority families. 

Thomas-Tate notes that many of the classroom interactions that are taken for granted are really foreign to some youngsters entering school because the behavior isn’t modeled in their home – things even as simple as answering a question that you know the person posing the question already knows the answer to. 

NAACP Reads is a national program, and the local Springfield chapter recently decided to join ranks as they noticed a need in the community to prepare children better for school.

By partnering with other local organizations, they can build off of each other’s successes and strengths, reaching populations – like high-poverty populations – that often don’t know about or don’t take advantage of the resources available in the community.

Students in the department of communication sciences and disorders at Missouri State University are getting involved in the project through research. They are researching what programming has worked in other communities, doing literature searches, and comparing the differences between hard copies and digital books.

The outcomes of the studies will certainly influence the implementation of NAACP Reads in the local area. 

For more information, visit http://naacpspringfieldmo.org.  

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