Matthew had a flier in his backpack about a "Pacer" program through our local elementary school. Apparently, it is run through a grant with the local learning council, to increase the pre-literacy skills of the younger sibling(s) of the current Pre-K or Kindergarten student.
I called the leader of the program, and they took us into the program- Nolan is the "Pacer" student. They have been studying the children in the program, and they tend to have higher reading skills than the children who do not participate in the program. Since I'm all about being pro-active with regard to Nolan's communication and literacy skills, I was thrilled to participate in the program.
The Pacer leader comes to our house one time per month, leaving scads of materials (including free craft materials like construction paper, crayons, and glue sticks). She reads to the boys, has them act out stories, and does a craft with them. This month's craft was to make some dice out of a foam block and stickers, then to play a game with the dice. The boys would roll the dice, then select the proper number of blocks from a pile (one-to-one correspondence). They also did several puzzles with the Pacer teacher.
Both boys love the block game.Before she left, she handed me two red bags filled with various activities to do with the boys over the next month. This program emphasizes the "Parents As Teachers" philosophy for very young children. Our activities include making apple cider (a kitchen craft in a bag activity- measuring and math skills), making an apple mosaic (tearing paper and gluing for fine motor skills), making a book with a very short story that Nolan can memorize, and several other preschool level activities.
She was impressed with Nolan's letter recognition skills and various other skills. This made me very happy, since this program is a mainstream pre-literacy program. I love hearing how well Nolan is doing, and when it comes from a mainstream teacher, it is all the better! We are attending a Pacer program picnic at the kindergarten next week, and I am excited to see what the kids are going to do. Everything about this program has been simply wonderful already, and I'm sure Nolan's pre-literacy skills are going to be awesome by the end of this year!