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As part of its Building Bridges to Literacy Initiative, the San Benito County Office of Education began a new Early Literacy Certification Program on Feb. 3. The program brings early literacy classes to daycare providers and preschool teachers throughout San Benito County and is designed to help participants learn new skills and strategies around reading and literacy, says a press release from the county office. 

A total of 19 participants attended the first in a series of three workshops that run through April 13.

Developing literacy skills before the age of 5 helps ensure children arrive at kindergarten ready to read, says the release. Research indicates that students who do not have adequate literacy skills when they enter school are significantly less likely to meet college and career readiness benchmarks throughout their entire academic career, putting them at risk of dropping out of school, engaging in high-risk behaviors and becoming involved with juvenile protection and law enforcement agencies. 

“SBCOE’s Early Literacy Certification Program’s goal is to support educators as they work with our youngest children to develop those  critical literacy skills,” says the press release.

Led by Dr. Danielle Thomas, the workshop series covers six components of literacy and five areas of reading necessary to help young children learn. Participants received four children’s books, as well as a set of alphabet paired cards that were incorporated into the training. As part of the certification, participants will create an Early Literacy Plan that they will implement with the children they work with currently.

Although the Early Literacy Certification Program is full at this time, it will be offered again next fall. Anyone interested in earning their Early Literacy Certification can contact Keith Thorbahn at [email protected] or Mai Cruz at [email protected].

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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