Access for all: closing the book gap for children in early education

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International Reading Association, 2001 - Education - 93 pages
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Because children begin to learn literacy skills before formal reading and writing instruction takes place, exposure to books at an early age leads to improved literacy skills throughout life. Further, because so many children are in child-care facilities for 40 hours a week or more, it is essential for child-care centers to provide young children sufficient access to quality books. This is especially important in areas of low income, where children may not have access to books and literacy experiences at home. Access for All: Closing the Book Gap for Children in Early Education details a study of child-care centers across the United States that uncovered some troubling results. Authors Susan B. Neuman, Donna C. Celano, Albert N. Greco, and Pamela Shue discovered that there is a serious lack of quality books in many child-care centers, and that many states do not have clear guidelines for using books to create literacy exposure in child-care settings and prekindergarten classrooms. The news is not all bad, however. There are states that have set up clear and consistent guidelines and rules regarding early literacy instruction, and there are numerous professional organizations that also are working to close the book gap. The chapters in this book highlight trends in children's publishing and the children's book market, detail the authors' study and its results, describe a state that has made excellent progress in early education standards, and give possible solutions for closing the book gap for young children. A must-have for policy makers, directors of child-care centers, and all educators with an interest in early literacy, Access for All offers a concise look at a serious problem-and offers realistic solutions to overcome it. Susan B. Neuman is Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C., USADonna C. Celano is an instructor in the Temple University Department of Communications, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Albert N. Greco is an associate professor in the Fordham University Graduate School of Business Administration, New York, New York, USA. Pamela Shue is a graduate assistant in the Temple University Department of Education, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

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