Skills for Summer Learning was the theme for the recent Family Night held by Family Stability Services, a program of United Way’s Financial Stability Partnership. UWCA collaborated with Better Basics to provide parents with tools to make sure their children are still learning even when school is not in session, and are confident in their reading.
For the event, parents and children divided into groups for more intimate discussion and activities. Deborah Knight, Better Basics Sites Coordinator for 30 A Day and Academic Tutoring, led the reading skills session for parents of kindergarten-through-third-grade students, while Darlene Gray, Better Basics Director of Programs, facilitated the fourth through sixth-grade parent group.
Gray and Knight both provided parents with vital tips and information that will lead to reading success. Darlene recommended that parents of kindergarten-through-third-grade students label furniture throughout their homes to get their kids more familiar with everyday words. Gray said, “Children have to hear a word 17 times for them to memorize it.” Knight shared tips with the parents of the older age group on how to make their kids confident readers. Suggestions included parents reading along with children, encouraging all types of reading, keeping a dictionary handy and including their kids when choosing books.
While the parents were learning about reading skills, so were their children. Women United members and United Way staff played games, such as musical frisbee, hula hoop pass and beach ball questions, with the attending kids. Although the games were fun, the children were still gaining knowledge. For example, when playing beach ball questions, whoever had the ball when the music stopped had to read a question off the ball and share their answer aloud.
Family Night concluded with Financial Stability Specialists Jana Hoffman and Ajike Player leading a finance-related activity that families played together. They also shared information on the services provided through UWCA’s Family Stability Services. Each child attending the event left with multiple free books and a bag of school supplies.
United Way of Central Alabama serves Jefferson, Shelby, Walker, Blount and St. Clair counties by providing solutions for the most important needs in the community. Through our partner agencies and community initiatives, we improve lives and community conditions by building and mobilizing resources. United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. For more information, visit www.uwca.org.