District of Columbia Library

The STAR Club will be offered at 10 libraries and/or at community-based sites. Each session will include 3-6 classes, 1-2 hours each. Classes will be limited to 15 parents/caregivers and their children.

The curriculum begins with research about the enormous impact of early experiences and exposure on brain “wiring.” Then the focus shifts to the six skills that prime children’s readiness to learn to read—print motivation, phonological awareness, vocabulary, print awareness, letter knowledge, and narrative skills.

Classes will include the skills themselves, and their impact on a child’s pre-reading ability, and hands-on activities of creative play, reading a book aloud, singing rhyming songs, learning rhythm activities and puppet play. Take-home flannel boards will have added pieces week-to-week. A board book will be taken home each week. An inflatable beach ball will be taken home for a playful way to learn shapes—the basis for letter awareness as the child gets older. A shaker egg will be taken home to reinforce rhythm as an ingredient in understanding syllables. The activities offer variety for the parents/caregivers and are fun.

A later get-together will be scheduled so parents/caregivers can share what they’ve been doing, to raise problems, and to reinforce lessons learned.