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Early Childhood Literacy Tips

Tips for helping children read at grade level

United Way of Greater Cleveland wants every child to graduate high school. Studies show children who don’t read at grade level by third grade are less likely to graduate. Here are tips and tricks to help your child read and ultimately graduate high school:

  • Talk often. Talking with children helps build their vocabulary. It’s as simple as asking what about objects as you ride in the car, unpack groceries or fold laundry.
    • Vocabulary is the first step to reading, so talk often.
  • At bedtime, reverse roles and allow your child to tell you a bedtime story. Follow the story with questions about the time, place and events they described.
    • These questions develop a child’s ability to process the story they’ve told, which supports long-term reading comprehension.
  • Read or recite rhymes to your child. Create your own or use classics such as “Mary had a Little Lamb.” As you read or recite, stop before a rhyming word and encourage your child to fill in the blank.
    • Rhyming is a fundamental skill needed for future reading success.
  • Read with your child or take a “book walk” 20 minutes per day. A “book walk” is using the pictures in a book to tell a story instead of reading the words on the page.
  • Celebrate! Learning a new skill is never easy. Celebrate milestones in literacy to encourage your child to continue practicing and perfecting their literacy skills.

To receive literacy tips to your mobile device, text LITERACY to 51555.

Literacy Explosion Campaign

On May 19, United Way of Greater Cleveland hosted summer learning kickoff events at five Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools. Each event promoted summer learning with literacy-themed raffles, giveaways, prizes and an opportunity to sign up for summer reading programs at neighborhood libraries. Literacy Explosions were hosted at Harvey Rice, Patrick Henry, Almira, Walton and Case elementary schools. Read More →

Cleveland’s Success depends on the Next Generation

In Greater Cleveland, we come together to support collective success, especially for our children. That’s just who we are.

The success of future generations, and our larger community, is directly tied to quality education beginning with the development of one major skill: reading. Our community continues to rally behind its children to provide support and resources needed for success. Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), United Way of Greater Cleveland, foundations and other local nonprofit organizations understand the importance and joined together to create a network to help our children become strong readers. Read More →

Andrew Katusin

Preventing “Summer Slide”

Practice makes perfect, but what happens when we get out of practice? Whether it’s sports, reading or math, without practice your skills can become rusty. You may even end up needing to learn the skill all over again.

In summer, approximately half of all students essentially “take a break” from learning and as a result, lose many skills they learned during the school year, called learning loss or “summer slide.” Read More →

Julia Boxler

Community Resources to Assist with Your Child’s Literacy

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