PRESS RELEASE FROM REP. TOM SANNICANDRO'S OFFICE:
Rep. Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland) hosted an Early Literacy Night for parents of Ashland and Framingham at the Pittaway Elementary School last week.
Sannicandro and principal Pat White, welcomed parents to the school where they heard from a panel of experts about how early education is moving forward in Massachusetts and what steps they can take with their young child to develop their literacy skills.
The panel included Dr. Sherri Killins, Massachusetts Commissioner of Early Education and Care, White, Betsy Salomone, Early Education Coordinator for Ashland Public Schools, Kelly Kulsrud, Director of Reading Proficiency at Strategies for Children and Sannicandro.
“It was great to see parents connecting with the different stories and techniques the panel shared,” said Sannicandro. “There was something there for all parents, addressing a whole host of questions and challenges we as parents have to navigate when preparing and encouraging our children to develop a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning.”
Responding to a mother’s question of what to do after “doing everything right” since birth but still feeling as if reading is a chore to her son, Commissioner Killins insisted there must be a topic of interest for her child, which can be explored through reading. Books about building things and architecture are great place to start she explained after hearing the parent’s son likes LEGO blocks. Even reading the manual for a LEGO project is a way to get children reading in the context that excites them. A supportive parent expressed encouragement by adding that there are storybooks produced by LEGO blocks for children.
The panel encouraged bilingual parents to emphasis both their native language and English in the home. Ensuring that parents are asking pertinent questions and animating the story for children is the most effective way children to learn, no matter the language.
Parents were encouraged to engage at all possible moments and contextualize events and experiences with their children both in the home and out in public. Kelly Kulsrud, Director of Reading Proficiency at Strategies for Children and former teacher for eight years, explained that parents have a pivotal collaborative role to play in the effort to increase literacy and educational
preparedness across the Commonwealth.