4C helps promote reading, school readiness

May 28, 2015


Through a partnership with 4C for Children and WCPO, the students at Sayler Park Elementary School received a surprise at the end of the school year: two new books to help them continue reading over the summer.

4C, a Community Learning Center (CLC) partner with Sayler Park School and nine other Cincinnati Public Schools, works with the CLCs to support school readiness for parents and children and helped facilitate the book acquisition.
"Good reading skills are key to academic success in children," says Lisa Garofalo, 4C's school and community facilitator. "It's so important that those skills continue to be worked on throughout the year, especially during the summer break. Hopefully these books will be the first of many that the children will read over the next two months."
WCPO, the Cincinnati ABC affiliate, contacted 4C after receiving 1,000 books for distribution through ABC/Disney's partnership with First Book, a national nonprofit organization that provides new books to children in need. Once that initial contact was made, Garofalo worked to connect WCPO with Sayler Park School.
"Community partnerships like those we have developed with 4C and WCPO are invaluable," says school principal Jamie Sowders. "They help us give the kids things that we wouldn't otherwise be able to give them and those things lead to added success in the classroom." He went on to explain that children who live in Sayler Park don't have a community library so "these books will help them continue their reading progress over the summer."
More than 350 students in grades K-8 chose books during a Literacy Celebration held on May 26 in the school library. The event also celebrated the recent "A" rating the school received on its K-2 state literacy report card.
The Literacy Celebration was the climax of a school year during which the CLC and Garofalo focused on improving both reading opportunities and school readiness. For example, last September an event was held in collaboration with the Delhi branch of the Hamilton County Public Library for parents of kindergarten and first-grade students to help parents learn ways to support reading at home. Parents of incoming kindergarten students were also given "My First Homework Boxes" that included supplies for completing homework at home.
Another result of Garofalo's efforts, in collaboration with Santa Maria Community Services, is the addition of a home visitation program in Sayler Park. The "Promoting Our Preschoolers" program provides home-based services to families and their preschool-aged children, focusing on early child development.
"Getting books into the hands and homes of Sayler Park students and increasing parent involvement in preparing preschool-age children for kindergarten continue to be our goals," Garofalo says. "Thanks to the collaborative efforts that are taking place in the Sayler Park community, the children are benefiting from the progress that has been made. It's been a good year in Sayler Park!"