Today an article in the Chicago Tribune caught my attention. Hubby had left the newspaper laying on the table so of course my eyes gravitated to it to see what was going on around town. The article was highlighting a program for low income families, specifically mothers involved in the WIC program, that showed how early learning from parents was key to kids' intellectual capabilities once they entered school. The program stressed that parents reading to, talking to and just generally interacting with their infants verbally helped brain development. A little thing like one book given to each family would set those children on the right path to succeeding in school. I found the *Cradle to Classroom* program innovative and necessary for our country. I hope they get more funding and can expand or help other groups be inspired to foster success in all our children.
The irony here was that right on the next page of the paper, there was an article about a North suburban elementary school where children were learning to tell stories with video cameras. Hmmm, do they know how to tell stories by writing them down? Do we really need children under the age of twelve to think this is a normal way to communicate and get your point across? This completely threw me off. Of course the school in this article was a far, far way away from the impoverished area in Chicago that the early reading program targeted. More than irony, this second story highlighted the vast differences families face that they may not even realize.
I came from a poorer background where we ate only generic food, never spent money unnecessarily on anything, and walked to school and the grocery store. Now that I am married, I have a comfortable life as a stay-at-home wife where my son will never know the hardships my parents and my siblings and I faced. He is privileged enough to possibly attend a school in the suburbs where he just might end up in the class with the video project. I don't think I like that idea at all.
[*I really wanted to link to the program to learn more but I cannot find a direct link through Google search or from the online article.*]