"When does a child learn
to read? Many would
answer kindergarten or
first grade. But
researchers have found
strong evidence that
children can begin to
learn reading and
writing in their
earliest years, long
before they go to
National Institute for
Reading: The Engine for School Success
With Connecticut facing the largest reading gap in the nation, a panel discussion was held in Hartford on April 5, 2011 to identify what changes need to be made in the way we teach our children how to read. The Commission was one of the partners in the event, which was sponsored by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and hosted by the legislature's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. Watch video, download documents, and more
Reading Readiness Begins Long Before Kindergarten
Here are the PowerPoint slides (in PDF format) that Commission on Children Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman used in a webinar on early reading success held by the Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS) on December 1, 2010.
All Children Can Read by
Brain research shows that reading is teachable
to 95 percent of our students. Yet 10 to 40
percent of them will have difficulty learning to
read and need specialized instruction. That's
just one of the key facts in this document,
which outlines Connecticut's trailblazing
efforts to improve school readiness. Download the PDF
Every Grownup Is a Famous Storyteller
This booklet, created by the Commission
and sponsored by the state Department of
Education, uses a photo exhibit to make
basic points about the importance of
reading to children. Dr.
Alice S. Carter of Yale University's
Department of Psychology provides an introduction. Download the PDF
What language skills does a child need
to develop before entering kindergarten
or first grade? Here's a checklist prepared by the Commission. Download the PDF
104 Books Every Child Should Read
Recommended by the New York Public
Library, with additions from the
Connecticut State Library. Download the PDF.
Important Early Reading Legislation
Below is the most
important legislation adopted in recent
years to ensure that Connecticut
children become early readers. See other
articles on this page for plain-language
summaries. To research the legislative
history of any bill, visit the
General Assembly website.
Reading: Organizations that can help
Connecticut, many organizations are eager to
help children and adults achieve literacy.
Others offer valuable research data. You'll
find links to them here.
Childhood Education Cabinet
Also known as the Governor's Early Childhood Education
Cabinet, this panel was created in 2005 to advise on school
readiness issues, evaluate current school readiness
programs, and assist in developing budget scenarios for
early childhood education programs. Its members include
Commission on Children Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman.
Its documents are posted online by The United Way of
Visit this site
on reading achievement from "Fine by Nine: All
Children Healthy, Safe and Successful in School by Age
9," submitted to the Cabinet by its Goal 2 Committee
in May 2008.
Download the PDF
- "Ready by 5 & Fine by 9," published in October 2006, is
the Cabinet's suggested framework for early childhood
education. Download the PDF
- Governor Rell held the first
meeting of the cabinet on September 2005.
Teacher Preparation: The Key to Early
Most teacher-education programs fail to
train future teachers in research-based
methods of reading instruction. This
PowerPoint presentation by Margie
Gillis, Ed.D., of New Haven-based Haskin
Laboratories, highlights the reasons why
so many teachers are ill-prepared -- and
what can be done about it.
Download the PDF
School Readiness and Early Reading
newsletters concern implementation of
the school readiness legislation.
National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) publications
The NIFL, an arm of the U.S. Department of Education, offered an assortment of free publications for parents and
educators interested in promoting early literacy. Unfortunately, the agency was shut down in 2010. But another federal agency—the Literacy and Information Communication System (LINC), which focuses on adult literacy—still offers many NIFL publications for downloading as PDF files. Printed copies are no longer available. Publications for eduators | Publications for parents
This page was last updated:
November 14, 2012