Our thanks to Rep. Joan Ballweg for her continued support of the children of Wisconsin. Here is her latest video update.
Research indicates the more words children hear from parents and caregivers, the more they learn. Yet, by age 4, children in poverty may hear 30 million fewer words than their higher-income peers, resulting in dramatic learning disadvantages that go into adulthood, also known as the “word gap”.
At the last Children’s Caucus meeting on November 8th, Ken Taylor from Kids Forward shared data from the latest Kids Count Data Book that shows 63% of Wisconsin children by 4th grade are not proficient in reading, and Wisconsin has one of the largest gaps in child wellbeing by race.
I introduced a bill this session that would invest $500,000 to assist in the sustainability and expansion of the Reach Out and Read (ROR) Wisconsin Program. ROR is an early literacy initiative that gives children a foundation for success by incorporating books into their pediatric care and encouraging families to read together. Closing the word gap will help to increase reading proficiency and child wellbeing in Wisconsin. To learn more about Reach Out and Read Wisconsin, visit their website.