It's Back to School Time Already

August 16, 2015

We Imagination Library folks know that although young children and students are transitioning back into their scholarly routines from summer, the learning process must continue year-round. We’re all aware that children who do not read over the summer will lose up to three months of reading achievement, a cumulative loss. That’s why it’s so important for young children and preschoolers to receive their books each month and to experience reading with a caring adult.

Tennessee is still grappling with below average reading proficiency in third and fourth grades. Your work with Tennessee’s Imagination Library at the community level is valuable and has a collective impact on the success of our future elementary school students – thank you for all that you do!

Did you know that according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “Campaign for Grade-Level Reading”,

  • Half of the school achievement gap between rich and poor children starts BEFORE kindergarten.
  • One in 10 kindergarten and 1st grade students misses nearly a month of school every year.
  • Low-income children lose 2-3 months of reading achievement each summer.

For these reasons and many more, we want to celebrate and thank our preschool and kindergarten teachers who work tirelessly to keep our children moving forward in reading and literacy. Children in Group 6 (born in 2010) who participate in the program, just received a wonderful book, My Teacher, by James Ransome, a celebration of the many ways a teacher can inspire students. Mr. Ransome dedicates this book “To all the dedicated teachers who come in early, leave late, and give a little something extra for the students.” The child narrating this book tells the story of “my teacher”, who in many unsung ways models and mentors her young students to connect their personal experiences with those of students the teacher has taught before – their parents and even some grandparents – to begin to understand that the possibilities for these students are endless. Each section ends with the narrator’s realizing and connecting with the idea that her teacher’s love of continuing to teach comes from the joy and deep caring she has for her former students and their accomplishments, as well as each new class she teaches!

Let’s join in celebrating all our teachers – including those who take our children in their earliest, most critically formative years – and help launch them on their educational journeys. Parents are a child’s first teachers; teachers have the challenge of guiding these young minds on the pathway of not only learning, but also developing a strong social and emotional framework to allow for the blossoming of their natural talents. This is honorable and impressive work!