The Beta Beta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International held its October meeting Monday, October 24, at the Sudie Fulford Center at East Georgia State College. The Research Committee, which includes Jana Lee as chair, Haley Brantley, Keri Claxton, and Selena Reynolds, selected the program for the meeting. One of the purposes of the Delta Kappa Gamma is to inform the members of current economic, social, political, and educational issues so that they may participate effectively in world society. To align with this purpose, the committee asked Mrs. Tammy Allen, Emanuel County Family Connection Coordinator, to speak on a special project that directly impacts our children.
With a degree in Family Studies from the University of Kentucky, Allen has worked with youth focusing on prevention and life skill development in Johnson County. She has also worked in child and adolescent behavioral health with CarePartners of Georgia and served families through UGA Extension. She has worked with families at a federally qualified healthcare center and currently works with children and families focusing on improving childhood literacy and nutrition through her role with Emanuel County Family Connection.
In an effort to improve literacy among our children, Emanuel County Family Connection sponsors six specific projects: Bear Friday at Swainsboro Primary and Twin City Elementary, grade-level book distributions, classroom library expansion, family reading nights, community book distributions, and Ferst Readers enrollment and fundraising.
Currently in Emanuel County, only thirty-four percent of third graders are proficient readers. Because the greatest amount of brain growth occurs between birth and age five, our local Family Connection has partnered with Ferst Readers to improve early childhood literacy in our county. Using a private donation of $36.00, Ferst Readers provides a child with a new book once a month for a year accompanied by planning guides for the parent and activity pages for the young reader.
This early intervention program has yielded very positive results with Ferst Reader children demonstrating better reading behaviors and active listening skills, acquiring a vocabulary of approximately 300 words by age two, and scoring higher on reading comprehension assessments once they have reached kindergarten level.