The Impact of the Pandemic on Literacy
It's hard to believe that we're almost two years into the Covid-19 pandemic with no end in sight. While the pandemic has affected every person somehow, the negative impact on literacy in children, significantly younger low-income children, has been tremendous.
In a study conducted by PACE, researchers found "that there has been substantial learning loss, especially in the earlier grades, in both ELA and Math. But most importantly, we show that the pandemic and its related disruptions to schooling in California have disproportionately affected low-income students and ELLs.
Average learning loss estimates mask the reality that some students in California are suffering much more during this time than are others. Without aggressive and bold actions, these students may never catch up; any funding or support designed to mitigate learning loss must be targeted specifically to the students who need it most.
Our analysis to date shows that low-income students and those learning English have fallen behind, and future analyses will further illuminate the impact on students in other demographic groups."
How can we make a positive impact on these young children, especially low-income students?
Books! Research shows that the more books in a child's home, the better their later educational achievement.
One study found that in middle income neighborhoods one may find13 age-appropriate books in a home per child; in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio plummets to 1 book for every 300 children. Being surrounded by books and a culture of reading make a significant difference. Research suggests a child who hails from a home with 25 books will, on average, complete two more years of school than would a child from home without any books at all.
Improving early childhood literacy is one of the main reasons Dr. Faustino Bernadett and his wife Dr. Martha Bernadett founded The Molina Foundation in 2004. This national nonprofit organization reduces disparities in access to education and health.
The Molina Foundation is committed to improving health outcomes, especially healthy child development, starting with a focus on access to literacy, language, and early childhood education in underserved communities across the United States. Through The Molina Foundation's programs, they work every day to build and strengthen word-rich, and subsequently healthier, homes across the country.
To learn more about The Molina Foundation and how you can be among the growing community of nonprofits, medical and dental providers, government agencies, and schools that comprise The Molina Foundation's Network of grant recipients, click here.