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At the Starting Line of Literacy

September 5, 2017

UMD’s Early Childhood Studies program is co-sponsoring Inching Into Literacy on Wed., Sept. 6 from 4–6 p.m. 

The Steve O’Neil Apartments at 115 West Fourth Street offer permanent housing for families who have experienced chronic or recurring homelessness. One of the Inching Into Literacy organizers Molly Harney, an associate professor at UMD and consultant for Steve O’Neil Apartments, says there are 25 children living there who are younger than five.  

Inching Into Literacy is designed to support the entire family. “Breaking the poverty cycle requires education and community support for two generations,” says Harney. “The best things we can do are to come together as a community to address the disparities the children face and give the parents the tools and resources they need to be the best parents they can be.”  

The children will engage in literacy activities and developmentally appropriate games, and make toys using recyclable materials. Every child will receive a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Tables will be set up to connect families with community resources while their children are engaged with the activities. Explains Harney, “Since we are aware that breaking the poverty cycle requires education and community support, this event brings both to the Steve O'Neil Apartments with the importance of supporting early literacy at the core.”

Harney hopes this event will launch a monthly literacy series at the Steve O’Neil Apartments.

The event is supported by the Northland Foundation, UMD Unified Early Childhood Studies, UMD Honors Program, UMD America Reads and Counts, Duluth Public Library, Scottish Rite, ISD 709 Early Childhood programs, and CHUM.

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