Ensuring School Readiness With Read Right From the Start

The Y’s focus on literacy and commitment to ensuring school readiness means that preschool-age children at the YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s early learning centers will enter kindergarten on a path to read to learn by the third grade.

Nine years ago, the YMCA and the Rollins Center at the Atlanta Speech School embarked on a joint effort to enrich Y early learning programs with research-based training, coaching and mentoring, and access to the online Cox Campus to improve the literacy skills of our young learners — Read Right from the Start.

Read Right from the Start is a professional development program focused on building skills of early learning teachers. Through this program, educators and staff learn how to build literacy and language skills of our children through every interaction in the classroom.

It is vital that children make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn by third grade in order to be successful in all areas of study. Reaching children from birth to age 5 through our early learning programs puts them on track for reading comprehension by third grade.

“What began as an initiative of the Y and the Atlanta Speech School has grown into a promise that we made to the children of Georgia — and now it’s just the way we do things here at the Y,” says Melinda Long, Read Right from the Start Literacy Coach and Education Manager at YMCA Chattahoochee Early Learning Center.

Read Right from the Start offers a multi-faceted approach to teacher training, including traditional professional development courses, one-on-one guidance from literacy coaches and Cox Campus E-learning modules developed by the Atlanta Speech School. The Y is providing our teachers with the resources they need to help students bridge the language and literacy gap, preparing children to start kindergarten ready to learn.