Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Literacy Launch Pad Lifts Off!

I'm proud to announce that our early reading group is up and running. Our first "Literacy Launch Pad" meeting was held July 19th.  Thanks to the good folks at Milagros, we have a venue reserved for our meeting every third Thursday of the month.

Literacy Launch Pad is a parent-run education, support and discussion group for those who want to learn effective ways to build literacy skills in children with Down syndrome. We will focus on literacy in preschool-age children with Down syndrome, but all families are welcome. It’s never too early to start thinking about literacy, and we would love to learn from parents of older kids who have been there.

Our kickoff meeting was attended by 9 families. Our little readers range in age from 19 months to 5 years.  We had a great time getting to know each other and sharing some of the literacy activities we currently do with our kids.  Below are the meeting notes for anyone who might be interested.

Meeting Summary: We Have Liftoff!

1. Our philosophy: 
"Reading activities may be the single most important intervention for promoting the speech, language and cognitive development of preschool children with Down syndrome."  –Down Syndrome Education International
  • Families are the best teachers. We can learn from, motivate, and inspire each other.
  • Keep it fun and flexible.
  • Focus on one technique/topic per month

2. We introduced ourselves and shared some ideas about early literacy activities:
  • Reading books together
  • Ipad/Iphone apps
  • Flash cards
  • Homemade books
  • Labeling objects around the house
  • Writing words with sidewalk chalk
  • Pointing out words on signs around the neighborhood
  • See and Learn Program
  • Meet the Sight Words videos
  • Love and Learning Program

3. Parent Show and Tell
  • Susan gave an overview of some materials she uses with Anthony, including homemade books, materials from Down Syndrome Education International, and the Meet the Sight Words videos.

4. Reminders/FYI
  • NWDSA is having a make and take literacy session next week
  • Local naturopath is speaking on Saturday

5. Going forward
  • The time and venue worked well.
  • We will meet the Third Thursday of each month at Milagros from 5:30-7:00
  • Susan will create a Facebook group so we can communicate between meetings. We’ll use the group to decide on next month’s topic for focus.
  • Sorry, no kids! We agreed that this should be a kids-free event so we can devote our full attention to the discussion. Let’s try to help each other out with child care.
Next up (Thursday, August 16th):  Merry will be telling us about her experiences with the program "Love and Learning".  Merry's daughter (age 5) is successfully reading and we are excited to hear how she got there.

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