On Thursday April 28, 2016, Kate Doblar-Allen, the District Coordinator of First Things First along with John Jarchow, District Coordinator for the Three Rivers Educational Foundation held a seminar at the library explaining early childhood development and the importance of helping children read. Jarchow of Three Rivers Education Foundation explained how they wish to help readers in Heber-Overgaard with their programs. They have grant money they want to use for supplying books, holding reading events in the community and most importantly, money to pay tutors to assist local school children to improve their reading skills.
It was interesting to learn that a child’s reading ability is directly related to their level of language development. Dobbler-Allen said that at 18 months in where gaps in vocabulary may first appear. Then language gaps at 3 to 4 years can affect third grade reading abilities. And, third to fourth grade reading abilities determines college ability.
The meeting which was arranged by Donna Harris of the Ponderosa Lions Club who works closing with First Things First for their reading and dental health programs. Superintendent Ron Tenney attended the meeting with many who wanted to learn about the tutoring opportunity. To find out more on the program click here.