Childrens Trust launches book club targeting early readers

admin | 3/3/2012, 4:30 a.m.

Literacy is paramount in the development of children especially in a time when standards in education are going up. Recently, The Childrens Trust launched the Read to Learn Book Club for all three-year-olds in Miami-Dade County. The program is aimed atfinalizing a community action plan to increase the number of third graders reading at or above grade level. "All of us need to break down barriers and work together for these children right here the future of Miami-Dade County," said Carlos Gimenez, mayor of Miami-Dade County. Currently, one-third of third graders fail to read at grade level, which is a critical moment in their development a moment when children must shift from learning to read to reading to learn. In addition, 88 percent of children who never graduate from high school were poor third grade readers and high school dropouts earn less than half of college graduates. Our churches can become places where children come to read and learn and not just to worship on Sundays, said Rev. Johnny L. Barber, pastor of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church. We as church leaders have a responsibility to our members and our community to empower parents to step up and make sure their children have the necessary tools and attention to succeed. Among many of the recommendations outlined in the community action plan are programs and initiatives that reach parents where they are and in places they frequent in their daily lives. "No child should want for a book in Miami-Dade County and this book club is just one tool in the comprehensive Read to Learn strategic plan," said Modesto E. Abety-Gutierrez, president and CEO of The Children's Trust. To learn more about the Read to Learn initiative or register a child for the book club, visit www.thechildrenstrust.org . For questions about the book club, call 305-891-READ.