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Smart Beginnings Shenandoah Valley announces Read For The Record

newspaperSmart Beginnings Shenandoah Valley, a regional component of a statewide initiative served to provide a consistent, recognizable and powerful voice for the youngest citizens throughout Page, Shenandoah, Rockingham, Augusta counties and Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro cities, has partnered with Jumpstart to Read for the Record.

Jumpstart is a national early education organization that is leveling the playing field so that all children are ready for kindergarten. Read for the Record is a national campaign that was launched over a decade ago to address the educational inequities that leave too many children unprepared for kindergarten.  On one unified day, early childhood classrooms across the United States join in and read the same book.  This allows an opportunity for business leaders, legislators, and community leaders along with early childhood educators to join forces and show the importance of early literacy for children under five.  This year’s campaign will highlight Quackers! By Liz Wong.

Smart Beginnings Shenandoah Valley invited regional early childhood classrooms and area leaders, and community members to connect and Read for the Record throughout the Shenandoah Valley.  On Thursday, October 19th 2017, more than 100 books will be read to 3000 area children under the age of five.  The Green Valley Book Fair is sponsoring the event, through a generous donation of the books and more than 84 classrooms have signed up to participate.

Across the Shenandoah Valley 16% of the children enrolled in the valley school system did not meet the minimum literacy goals for Kindergarten. Research continues to show the benefits and gains of investing in early childhood education far exceeds the costs of intervention that is required for students who continue to need remediation.  By third grade, children who are not reading on grade level, spend the rest of their academic years behind their peers.  “Investing in early childhood development is a win/win for every community.  From education, to health care, to workforce development when we support early learning, we are making a lasting investment in the future of the Valley” said, Kathy Banks, Director of Smart Beginnings’ Shenandoah Valley.  Partnering with Jump Start’s Read for the Record just makes sense to ensure that children in the Shenandoah Valley enter kindergarten healthy and prepared to succeed.

Improving early childhood care and education is widely recognized as a key factor in preparing children for success in school and life.  It helps to reduce the gaps that hinder many of our children later in life and provides a strong foundation to become stable and contributing members of the community as adults.