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Free Website Gives Tools to Help Young Children Read

Nemours Children's Health System

Nemours

Oct 18, 2017

Nemours Children's Health System has launched a new website aimed at parents of children 3 to 5 years old to help them find a path to reading success.

The site, http://www.readingbrightstart.org, is focused on improving language and literacy in preschool-age children. The free website offers parents and caregivers tools to recognize the warning signs for inadequate reading readiness and help their children develop the language skills necessary to read. Early reading failure can lead to disruption in child development in academic, cognitive, social, behavioral and emotional domains.

"Learning to read is one of the most important milestones in life, but it is not a skill kids acquire overnight," said Laura Bailet, operational vice president of Nemours BrightStart! "Parents need to engage with their child, starting from birth, in a way that builds a strong and healthy brain for future reading success, through evidence-based knowledge and tools. Waiting until kindergarten to start this process can put kids behind in learning to read."

More than 30 percent of children enter kindergarten without the language and early literacy foundation needed to be successful. Most struggling readers who fail to catch up by third grade will remain behind in reading for the rest of their schooling. Without intervention, deficits in early literacy can lead to reading challenges or even reading failure later on.

Pre-tested on about 4,000 parents, the preschool literacy screener helps parents get a useful snapshot of their child's pre-reading skills. There is also a customized action plan to help them prioritize important activities and recommended books. The screener recently received good reviews in School Psychology Quarterly, an American Psychological Association journal.