Thursday, April 3, 2014

Public housing authorities pilot education programs | EdSource Today

Public housing authorities pilot education programs | EdSource Today:



Americorps member Chia Vang helps Imani Conley, 2, with a finger-painting of a coconut tree during  a class at the little girl's public housing complex in Fresno. Credit: Lillian Mongeau, EdSource
Americorps member Chia Vang helps Imani Conley, 2, with a finger-painting of a coconut tree during a class at the little girl’s public housing complex in Fresno. Credit: Lillian Mongeau, EdSource
In an effort to improve literacy rates among children from low-income families, public housing authorities across the state are piloting programs that help parents prepare their children for school and increase their access to books.
In Sacramento, children living in public housing will soon have access to a new library, designed especially for them. In Oceanside, north of San Diego, public housing officials now distribute books instead of toys at the annual holiday party. In Oakland, the housing authority is working with the school district to improve attendance and bring parents living in public housing into their children’s schools more often.
“We’re not just about bricks and mortar, a roof over a head,” said Preston Prince, the executive director of the Fresno Housing Authority and president of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. “To be successful, children need additional help and the environment of where a child lives has a pretty major impact on how they do in school.”
Prince has led the effort to get more city and county housing authorities in California to provide on-site educational programs for children. Prince said he was convinced by research showing that children who are reading at grade level by 3rd grade are more likely to stay on track in middle school and graduate from high school on time. Prince credits Kendra Rogers, executive director of Fresno County’s First Five Commission and a housing authority board member, with helping him understand that children who are read to as infants and toddlers have stronger reading skills in   Public housing authorities pilot education programs | EdSource Today:

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