WAUKESHA, WIS.—Carroll University and La Casa de Esperanza have partnered for the Early Literacy Project, established in 2009 for early childhood education students to work with preschool children and encourage a culture of reading. A $2,000 grant from Target Foundation supports this initiative.
La Casa de Esperanza is a Hispanic community center in Waukesha that provides opportunities to achieve full social and economic participation in society. Carroll education students teach weekly lessons to children in the classrooms and the Early Head Start program.
This Target Foundation grant will help provide reading resources to be used with the Early Literacy Project, and be accessible to La Casa teachers and parents on a daily basis. The literacy resource closet will include age-appropriate books, dramatic play props for acting out stories, and alphabet and language/literacy materials. Carroll students will gather and organize these resources as part of a semester-long project this fall.
Dr. Kerry Kretchmar, assistant professor of education, is the project director. She said, "These resources will allow Carroll's pre-service teachers to utilize a wider range of materials and, in turn, use a larger scope of instructional strategies. Our students will be able to implement more innovative and unique lessons to excite and engage preschool students in literacy development and help to encourage a culture of reading."
The preschool students are assessed for improved literacy skills and oral language development by the High Scope Child Observation Record, a nationally used early literacy tool for preschool students and toddlers.