Children look up to their parents and think they are the bee’s knees! This is a great advantage, because as parents set the stage for success in the early years and early grades, kids are ready to taste the sweetness of what it means to succeed.
Parents play the most powerful and influential role in their children’s lives and that’s why the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading recognizes that parents are the secret sauce!
Making sure that children show up for school every day is one of the best things you can do to help close the gap. Research shows that children who miss school often (about 18 days) in kindergarten and first grade are far less likely to read well by the end of third grade.
Parents often are unaware of the souring effects of absenteeism and how quickly absences add up to academic trouble in the early grades. Low-income families, in particular, face challenges with health, transportation or housing that contribute to school absences. To make progress on attendance, the Campaign encourages communities to focus on helping parents strengthen three competencies:
* The leading cause of absenteeism in the early grades is illness. Asthma alone is responsible for 14 million missed days of school every year. Dental problems contribute to millions more.
Sometimes it’s hard to know the right choice to make: should my child go to school today or stay home? A good idea might be to keep track of absences and if the number seems like it’s getting high, connect with your child’s health provider (health providers are well positioned to connect families with needed health services and encourage school attendance).
Parents are not in this alone. Communities can be supportive by keeping children healthy too:
* Encourage guardians to schedule regular doctor appointments: Work with families to ensure every child has a “medical home,” which means having a doctor or clinic to regularly visit for annual checkups and when illness occurs.
* Emphasize good dental care: Expand access to dental care and ensure that parents know about good dental habits.
SHARE in the accomplishments of the past 12 months
LEARN about the current work happening in our region
CONNECT with other community members as we strengthen our resolve to help all children succeed in school by ensuring they read on grade-level by the end of third grade.