Portsmouth Reads …
A community-based initiative to increase the literacy skills of the citizens of Portsmouth.
Portsmouth Reads was developed to confront the problem of illiteracy in the city of Portsmouth. This problem greatly affects the quality of education in our city. According to the latest P.A.L.S. test scores, 24% of the children entering kindergarten and first grade do not have the basic skills needed to learn to read. Eleven percent of these children fail outright and have to repeat the grade level. Eighty-eight percent of these children will be poor readers throughout the rest of their school years. Thirty-three percent of the adult population in the city of Portsmouth is functionally illiterate. This not only affects our schools but our job market as well.
Programs in each phase will be tested and evaluated before introducing them to the community.
The Day Care Initiative – To encourage volunteers from area churches to share books with children at day care facilities, two days a week – one hour a day. Volunteers and Day Care Center employees will be trained in Raising a Reader Program.
Family Reading Night Initiative – To expose parents to the importance and the method of sharing books with children. Both parents and children will be encouraged to apply for a public library card and visit regularly.
Legislative Initiative – To work with City Council to enact better program guidelines when receiving a day care license.
People are Portsmouth Reads greatest asset,
volunteers make it possible.
School Buddies Initiative - To familiarize the preschool child with both the school they will be attending the next year and the teachers. This allows them to look forward to starting school without fear. To facilitate dialogue between kindergarten teachers and daycare providers.
Adult Literacy Initiative - To work with the Tidewater Literacy Council and Project Light by providing volunteers to help those adults in Portsmouth who wish to learn to read.
Infant Initiative - To place materials about the importance of sharing books with children in the hands of parents of newborns.
Social Service's Initiative - To make all public agencies that work with the citizens of Portsmouth aware of our program so that people needing our assistance can get it.