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Today’s Readers are Tomorrows Leaders

Reading aloud to children is beneficial on a number of levels. It increases vocabulary, literacy skills and comprehension. It is the foundation of literacy development. (Kathleen Childress 2011) Once children possess these skills, it opens up a whole new world of learning and development, especially inner city children. More importantly, children love being read to. The need for successful literacy skills for Connecticut’s children is urgent.

In 2010, Connecticut had the highest achievement gap in academic performance between high income and lower income students in the nation: 34 points. New Haven lagged between 25 and 35 points behind the state average on the Connecticut Mastery Tests. (New Haven Independent, 7/15/11).  Despite these statistics, LEAP has a powerful impact on the children we serve. Recent program results show that:

• 93% of children maintained or improved reading levels from Fall 2011 into Spring 2012.  63% showed improvement on assessed literacy skills.

• 84% of children maintained or improved reading levels from Spring 2012 over the summer into Fall 2012 – beat the “summer slide.”

• 83.1% of children said they liked to read. Only 67.6% said that they liked to read before LEAP.

And our counselors read to our children daily! You can help LEAP develop children who are confident and successful readers. We invite you to join us as a guest reader at LEAP’s afterschool program on the first Tuesday of the month beginning in February 2013. Spend an afternoon reading aloud to a small group of boys or girls and share your love of reading.

To register as a guest reader, contact Aida Melendez, at 203.773.0770 or amelendez@leapforkids.org. To learn more about other volunteer opportunities at LEAP, and to complete the application, visit www.leapforkids.org/Volunteers.

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