Fostering Literacy to Empower Children
Children often have complicated lives that contribute to making it more difficult for them to gain important literacy skills that are appropriate for their age. Strong early reading skills are an important predictor of academic success. Reading at grade level has been identified as a protective factor for vulnerable children. Decoda’s Fostering Literacy project provides extra support for these children, including children in government care.
In British Columbia, recent statistics (2015) reveal that children in foster care, particularly children with continuing custody orders, are:
- more likely to have special need
- less likely to be ready for school
- less likely to meet standards in Grade 4 and 7 tests
- less likely to graduate from high school
Decoda is currently undertaking a three-year pilot project (2016-2019) that will offer literacy supports for children who are struggling with reading. To date, fourteen communities in the British Columbia literacy network have been selected to participate in this pilot.
The project involves one-to-one tutoring for children who have been identified by their school district or social worker as needing some extra support and who are reading below their grade level. The project includes family literacy training for parents or caregivers to help them support their children’s learning at home.