Below we describe Thrive's mission and why you should consider donating to this worthwhile cause. We hope to raise minimal start-up costs that will cover some of the following:
Space: Environment matters at Thrive. We believe that students learn to read and write best in a space that is cozy, motivating, and secure. Covering the first couple months rent will help tremendously so we can work towards funding the rest on our own.
Materials: High quality children’s books and quality learning materials are the crux of Thrive's programs. We want to be sure we are giving kids access to the best children's books out there, handpicked by experts. Your donation will ensure that.
Public Relations: As a start up, getting the word out to parents and teachers about what Thrive has to offer is critical to our success. We need people to truly understand the difference we can make for their child. We have a strategy - we just need a small amount to help fund it.
Our mission is to develop a lifelong love of reading, writing, and learning in ALL children.
You may have heard of the achievement gap in education, but may not know that there is another kind of gap in elementary education that is growing rapidly - the gap between those who love to read, write, and learn and those who do not.
How was this gap created? Why does it matter? And what can we do about it?
How was this gap created?
- At a young age (4-6 years old), our children are ready for exposure to early literacy concepts in hands-on and engaging ways. Because of the demands and philosophies of some preschools and kindergartens, exposure to the highest quality books, good models of writing, the teaching of how letters, sounds, and words work, and the use of sophisticated vocabulary in everyday language have gotten lost or distorted. Children are often exposed to letters through worksheets that demote critical thinking and read books that don't demand quality conversation and new learning about the world.
- In elementary school years, students in high-performing suburban districts are overwhelmed with pressure to succeed. This pressure results in the philosophy of "more is better”- more homework, more after school activities, more competition. The focus is on quantity and not quality. Many suburban children aren't fortunate enough to be part of a classroom environment that builds a positive and healthy culture, gives them access to high quality books and choices, and nurtures their love of reading, writing, and learning.
- In urban areas, teachers are receiving the most professional development on research and evidence-based effective literacy practice. Teachers in suburban school districts are often left to their own devices and resigned to learn on their own and/or use scripted programs to teach reading and writing. These programs don't teach struggling readers and writers, nor do they inspire a love of reading and writing in most children. It’s time we invest in teachers rather than programs.
Why does it matter?
Just like adults, children don't choose to engage in things they don't like to do. When it appears they are not interested in learning, it’s often because they are not being taught the way they need to be and they shut down. To put it simply, good readers and writers read and write a lot. If they don't love it, they won’t do it.
As adults, we know that lifelong learning matters. If we aren't teaching kids in a way that fosters a love of learning and literacy, they won't grow into successful adults who are dedicated to continual reflection, growth, and change.
Our approach at Thrive is supported by research and evidence which demonstrates that literacy gains are made when students have access to a quality literacy environment.
What we can do about it:
Thrive Early Education Center offers:
Preschool and Kindergartners the opportunity to attend weekly 90 minute Literacy Workshops that focus on exposing them to the highest quality books and engage them in rigorous discussion about those books. We target the early literacy concepts that children need to build a foundation for learning to read and write. Teaching happens through play, not worksheets or memorization, and includes games and hands-on practice with letters and sounds, rhymes, and concepts of print.
First through sixth graders who are struggling with reading and school can come to an environment that encourages, motivates, and teaches them with methods and materials that appeal to their learning style. For one hour after school, they have the chance to reinvigorate their learning experiences in the right atmosphere, with the best books and the right teacher.
Teachers in suburban school districts are provided access to effective literacy practices that can transform their literacy environments and instruction to create a place that nurtures, differentiates, and inspires a love of reading, writing, and learning.
Parents are given the opportunity to attend workshops that educate them on effective literacy practices in school and at home. Parents who prioritize literacy education for their children raise readers, writers, and learners who not only succeed in life, but learn to love life.