Read With Me Family Literacy

Read With Me encompasses our family literacy programming that serves families with children enrolled in Midcoast Maine Community Action Head Start preschool programs, Early Head Start center-based childcare, and the Early Head Start Home Visitor Program. In each instance, we collaborate with the Head Start staff to provide information, experiences, and books to advance the early literacy development of young children within the family environment, so the children will be better prepared to start elementary school ready to succeed.

 

Head Start Read With Me Sessions:  We offer a series of 10 1.5-hour sessions per school year at each of the seven Head Start centers in our area. All adults related to and/or caring for the children enrolled in Head Start are invited and encouraged to participate. Each Read With Me session revolves around a high-quality children’s book. In the first half of the session, the adults meet with the Read With Me instructor to talk, review the book, learn about specific aspects of literacy development, and share experiences. This time can also be used for parent-made projects and guest presentations. In the second half of the session, the adults join their children in the classroom for a teacher-read-aloud of the story and a collaborative activity. This is a no-pressure opportunity for the parents to experience their children’s classroom, see the teacher in action, and pick up ideas they may do at home. Every adult who attends the session receives a free copy of the featured book and a handout of suggested activities to do at home. With repeat attendance, parents receive encouragement to read on a regular basis with their children, get new books to keep and use at home, and build an increasing sense of their family as a family of readers. 

Early Head Start Read With Me Story Time Sessions: In the Early Head Start childcare classrooms, we provide a series of 5 short theme-based story-time sessions for the children, teachers, and any participating parents. The Read With Me instructor reads one or two of the four selected books and leads a related activity or two, involving everyone present. At the end of the session, the teachers are given enough copies of the selected books to send home two books with every child, to ensure families have age-appropriate books at home to read to their children.

 Early Head Start Home Visitor Program Workshops: We provide a series of three literacy workshops to the Home Visitors who meet weekly with their families with children ages birth to 3 on a one-on-one basis. Our workshops focus on early literacy development and ways the Home Visitors can use reading and books during their visits to promote the skills they want their families to develop. At each workshop, the Home Visitors are given a selection of books so they can give a total of six books to every family they serve over the course of one year.