DANVILLE — This fall, Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation (ADF) launched its new early childhood literacy initiative, Always Reading.

The continuing goal of ADF is to fund innovative programs designed to inspire and embrace the hopes and dreams of children. To this end, the foundation has decided to focus a majority of its investment in the area of early childhood literacy, a cornerstone for lifelong success.

Always Reading focuses on the development of early childhood literacy skills. ADF has implemented the program in underserved (Title One) classrooms in San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.

A key element to the program is the introduction of an eReader tablet in the classroom. The eReader is an interactive electronic device that provides a multi-sensory literacy experience. When paired with print, digital readers can reinforce literacy concepts and create a powerful connection to classroom content.

The program seeks to:

– Close the achievement gap for children in high-need areas, by focusing on early childhood literacy interventions, starting with kindergarteners;

– Introduce interactive literacy technology to children who might not otherwise have access to digital media tools;

– Demonstrate eReader technology as a measurable enhancement to a child’s reading success.

Partnerships have been formed with two organizations: Raising A Reader, a national organization that helps families build and sustain literacy routines in their homes, and Footsteps2Brilliance, an academic language program that delivers a robust library of stimulating ebooks and educational games to students through mobile gaming technology.

“This new program will inspire a love of reading at an early age by providing children access to books and technology. Many of the children we hope to serve might not have had such an opportunity. We hope to make a significant difference in the lives of children who need our support the most,” Yamaguchi said.

To learn more about the Always Reading program, contact Lori Yamaguchi at lori@alwaysdream.org.

On the Web: www.alwaysdream.org

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