The Long Island Community Foundation (LICF) is thrilled to be supporting Community Action Southold Town’s (CAST), North Fork Parent-Child Home Program, where early learning specialists work with parents and their children in their own homes, with books and educational toys to engage in conversation, reading, and other skill-building activities and get them ready for kindergarten!
Academic achievement gaps between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers begin early and persist, leading to unequal educational attainment, employment, income, and social mobility.
By age three, children from disadvantaged families have heard 30 million fewer words, are more likely to watch television, and less likely to be read to by their caregivers or exposed to other learning opportunities. The deficient learning environment, coupled with poor nutrition and other stressors related to living in poverty, limits the development of language and literacy skills, numeracy, and social and emotional skills.
Community Action Southold began the North Fork Parent-Child Home Program, based on a proven national model that uses home visits by early learning specialists to educate parents on the importance of parent-child interaction and give them the tools (books and educational toys), skills, and encouragement to engage their children in conversation, reading, and other skill-building activities. Longitudinal studies show that children who participate in this program are 50 percent more likely to measure ready for kindergarten, have 30 percent higher graduation rates than their socio-economic peers, and are 50 percent less likely to be referred to special education services by the third grade. Many of the families served by the Community Action Southold Town are Latino.
Predictors of a child’s future success in school and in life begin during the earliest years of development. Although the effects of poverty can have harmful effects on young children, parents that are empowered to support their children can help mitigate the risks and improve their children’s life outcomes. Thanks to our generous donors, we are able to grant CAST $20,000 for this invaluable program.