Published by the Wisconsin State Journal on 7/29/2012
Madison and most urban school districts are struggling to close stubborn achievement gaps. And the problem starts long before the first day of kindergarten. That’s why the United Way of Dane County’s Parent-Child Home Program deserves special attention and support, even though — so far — it’s serving relatively few families. The idea is to help more parents give their children a good start at learning by visiting them in their homes each week for 30 to 45 minutes. A trained adult shares a book or educational toy with the child and offers the parent tips for nurturing early childhood development. This includes reading to the child and encouraging critical thinking skills.