With millions of schoolchildren across the country now attending school or receiving daycare at home, families face a bewildering challenge: How to keep little ones active and engaged—while making progress in learning to read.
“It doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition,” says Nancy Madden, a professor at the Center for Research and Reform in Education at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. “There are many free, high-quality, proven learning resources that are also super fun and engaging. But it helps to know where to look.”
One of those places to look is the Success for All (SFA) Foundation, a nonprofit organization that for 30 years has worked directly with educators in thousands of schools in disadvantaged communities to help students achieve reading levels at or above the norm. Madden, co-founder and CEO of SFA, worked with Sesame Workshop and Sirius Thinking, two world-class children’s literature producers, to assemble several series of entertaining videos for viewing by young learners and their parents at home, each with hundreds of built-in literacy lessons. These videos are “Home Links,” designed to share the lessons from their school programs and give parents tools to extend language and learning.
Curiosity Corner Home Links (128 videos) connect parents with preschool activities in which children are expanding their vocabularies and building math, science, art, music, and interpersonal skills. The videos offer games, songs, stories, creative activities, engaging in make-believe, and much more.
KinderCorner Home Links (120 videos) support a comprehensive kindergarten program based on research that helps children make sense of the world around them, fostering development of oral language, literacy, math, and self-help skills, as well as science and social studies concepts. The videos reinforce vocabulary and literacy skills with dynamic media.
Reading Roots Home Links (102 videos) provide a strong base for young readers by reinforcing the use of phonics to unlock words, and engage children with the joy of sharing children’s literature.
Each of these series supports a research-proven classroom program at the pre-K, kindergarten, or first-grade level, and aims to make learning easy, fun, and enriching—and readily available to all.