Dear BASIC Supporters & Donors,
“The fact is, a child’s out-of-school experiences, not the school he or she attends, is the single most important factor in literacy development. We know that a child is given the greatest opportunity to thrive when he or she is provided an enriched learning environment in a home in which a parent, grandparent, sibling, or other caregiver properly interacts with him or her. Having an adult read to, talk to, sing to, and otherwise immerse a child in an enriched language environment beginning at birth provides him or her an advantage over a child who is not likewise engaged.” From Reading for Life: Why Childhood Literacy Matters Pages 54-55.
One might describe a child coming from an improper nurturing situation as “under-served”. Here is what I see at BASIC.
The six year old girl who swings hard, makes good contact with the ball and promptly runs to third base to avoid being tagged out. She however heeds prompting as the play progresses to run across the diamond to first base after having touched third base. This happens each time she hits the ball.
The nine year old boy who answered the most questions correctly as we reviewed our book on Michael Jordan. When we began reading again, he volunteered to read but could read only one third of the words.
The eleven year old boy who after having dropped a fly ball was next seen hiding behind the gymnasium air conditioner, due to low self-esteem.
The ten year old girl who smashes herself against the gym wall each time she is thrown out after successfully hitting the ball.
How are they underserved? Principally by their home circumstances in which they have not received nurturing that prepares them for school. Time wasted in front of a television or game screen, lack of talking parents to offspring in the home, no books in the home and moving from apartment to apartment of one’s relatives does not constitute “an enriched learning environment” for these children.
Achievement tickets for correct answers about the book, daily prizes for the child who wins the most tickets, points for every base achieved, all tickets going into a bag from which prizes will be awarded at the end of the semester, and positive reinforcement for smashing, catching, running after or throwing the ball constitute BASIC’s answer to improper nurturing. All these elements and more are used to improve the child’s perception of himself/herself.