Education scholars and practitioners gathered at Duquesne University today to explore ways to combat illiteracy. Dr. Julia Williams, coordinator of the event and assistant professor Duquesne's Department of Instruction and Leadership in Education says the symposium the event is all about collaboration not competition. “We're all in this together. We have different philosophies, yes..." says Williams, "but we all have one charge: to have a safe, healthy, educational, stimulating environment for young children."
Many researchers believe that the key to education success is early literacy. "We're focusing in on infants, toddlers, pre-k children, so that they can be better prepared to work in their classrooms. Not only looking at the issue of literacy for the children but also recognizing the importance of the teachers, the community, and the families all working together to make an impact on the lives of children,” says Williams.
According to national studies, two-thirds of the nation’s fourth graders are not reading at proficient levels. Williams suggests that parents go to the library, read, and tell stories to their children to boost their vocabulary. She says it is also important to encourage interaction about those trips and stories in the classroom.