About this Study

Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) is completing its latest community inquiry, Children 1-2-3: Early Learning for Future Success. This community engagement process has been examining the question, "How can Jacksonville best foster early learning success for children from birth to age 3 in our community?" Over the course of the process (October 2011 through April 2012), the meeting schedule, meeting summaries, key handouts and relevant articles have all been posted here. To find out more, please email tonia@jcci.org.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Child poverty, reading skills in spotlight" - A conversations from another community

“As anyone who has spent time in a classroom knows, the keys to a quality education go far beyond the ABCs of basic reading, writing and arithmetic. Bright students struggle every day to reach their full potential because they don’t have the interpersonal and communication skills needed to excel in an academic environment,” according to U.S. Judy Biggert (R-Hinsdale, IL)

Biggert has introduced legislation in Congress that she believes will strengthen social and emotional learning in schools across the country. She said that better communication skills has been proven to improve academic progress and reduce behavioral problems such as bullying.

We know by now that investing in the whole child — through enriching early learning experiences, physical and mental health supports and strong families and communities — builds a foundation for success in school and throughout the rest of life,” said Kathy Ryg, president of Voices for Illinois Children. “By the end of third grade, students need to be able to make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Reading achievement for these children is one very important predictor of high school graduation rates, future earnings potential and other indicators of success.”

Samuel J. Meisels, who was recently named to Chicago’s new Early Learning Executive Council by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and who is president of Erikson Institute, spoke about the importance of investing in children’s earliest years.

“The research is clear,” he said. “Time and again, the data prove that giving children access to quality early childhood programs not only works to boost their academic success, it’s incredibly cost-effective as well.”

School readiness is affected by children’s health, as well as by the families and communities in which they live. Low-income children are more likely to have chronic health problems and developmental delays and suffer from trauma due to exposure to violence.

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