Education & Learning
Small Changes Lead to a Big Impact in Kindergarten Readiness
Think Small coaches have strong, personal relationships with family child care providers. These relationships are the cornerstone of the partnership between The Minnesota Reading Corps and Think Small, and have opened the door for providers located in Minneapolis’ Northside Achievement Zone and the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood to join the pilot. Reading Corps members now visit the family child care programs two to three times a week, leading read-aloud and conducting small interventions that increase pre-literacy skills. As providers observe, they learn and begin incorporating these same activities into daily practice. Think Small coaches complete the circle of support, reinforcing the techniques providers have learned. The goal is for providers to be fully capable and confident in pre-literacy instruction after two years. Now in its second year, Think Small has added a new cohort and doubled the number of providers involved.
In just the first year children in this program are thriving. Some programs previously had 80% to 100% of four- and five-year-olds considered “far from the target” on rhyming and alliteration benchmarks. Through the Think Small and Reading Corp partnership those numbers are now flipped, with 80% to 100% either “close to the target” or “at or above” the reading level target. These children are now on track to be prepared for kindergarten.