A recent article in the New York Times took a closer look at the famous study that exposed the language gap for children growing up in lower income communities. The article explores a new study, which shows that it's not just about quantity but quality words that are critical to language development.
Improving the quality and quantity of language in the home environment helps ready children for grade school, but much more is needed to give children from disadvantaged backgrounds a fair shot at economic independence.
I founded 10 Books A Home to target the home environment during the preschool years in order to close the achievement gap in high-need communities. For the last 20 years in my community of East Palo Alto, CA, student poverty, academic struggle, and school failure has remained systemic. I’m committed to changing that.
Three years ago, I established our Child-Parent Home Tutoring Program. Today, our graduates start preschool and kindergarten performing above grade level, which has ignited intense interest. Teachers mention us in report cards, doctors refer families, and people in other states seek to replicate our program.
Our volunteer Role Models are responsible for this transformation. Their compassion fills homes with a love for learning that becomes cultural. And, their lessons teach children and parents how to cultivate the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the classroom.
There’s nothing new about what we’re doing, though. Every parent wants their children to succeed. At 10BH we’re innovating a way to deliver valuable enrichment services to less advantaged families, with the results being the same for their children as for children from more advantaged families.
If we keep seeing results like the ones we’ve seen so far, the achievement gap better start packing its bags.