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With Just One Black Teacher, Black Students More Likely to Graduate

early childhood Education News Literacy Research

April 5, 2017FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT: Jill RosenOffice: 443-997-9906Cell: Greg Stanley/Johns Hopkins University Low-income black students who have at least one black teacher in elementary school are significantly more likely to graduate high school and consider attending college, concludes a new study co-authored by a Johns Hopkins University economist. Having at least one black teacher in third through fifth grades reduced a black student’s probability of dropping out of school by 29 percent, the study found. For very low-income black boys, the results are even greater – their chance of dropping out fell 39 percent. Previous research has shown there...

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Why does seeing themselves in books matter to children?

African American Parent Tips Literacy Racial Pride Research

Rudine Sims Bishop, professor emerita of The Ohio State University, frames the problem with the metaphor of “mirror” and “window” books. All children need both. Too often children of color and the poor have window books into a mostly white and middle- and-upper-class world. This is an injustice for two reasons. One is rooted in the proficient reading research. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, researchers asked, “What do good readers do?” They found that good readers make connections to themselves and their communities. When classroom collections are largely by and about white people, white children have many more...

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Storytelling Skills Support Early Literacy for African American Children

early childhood Education News Literacy Research

African American Preschooler ReadingEarly narrative skills are tied to kindergarten literacy among young African American children, according to new research from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG). The study is the first to demonstrate the connection between African American preschoolers’ storytelling abilities and the development of their early reading skills.
“We found that preschool oral narrative skills were a significant predictor of emergent literacy for poor and non-poor African American kindergartners,” Gardner-Neblett said. “But only for the African American children.”

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Why Do You Have Black Dolls?

African American Parent Tips early childhood Racial Pride Research Video

Author Debbie Behan Garrett explains, “When a young child is playing with a doll, she is mimicking being a mother, and in her young, impressionable years, I want that child to understand that there’s nothing wrong with being black. If black children are force-fed that white is better, or if that’s all that they are exposed to, then they might start to think, ‘What is wrong with me?'” By providing children with African-American dolls that reflect their beauty, we can help to instill in them a positive self-image.

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Raising Readers

African American Parent Tips early childhood Literacy Research

African American Boy Loving ReadingThe Department of Education reports that literacy rates for more than 50 percent of African American children in the fourth grade nationwide was below the basic skills level.  Post secondary education statistics continue to demonstrate that far too many African American students who finish high school do so as functional illiterates—that is, they cannot read and write at a basic level requisite for functional participation in modern life.

What can be done about it?  Parents need to encourage the love of reading from an early age...during the first 3 years of life.

Just as a child develops language skills long before being able to speak, the child also develops literacy skills long before being able to read. What parents do, or don't do, has a lasting impact on their child's reading skill and literacy. 

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