McCarthy Vahey supports early childhood reading

Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) visited Fairfield University Early Learning Center’s preschool program as part of National Children’s Book Week.

She is supporting a measure to create a Director of Reading Initiatives in the state Department of Education, provide information on and assistance with reading and literacy to parents and guardians and address English language learner reading and literacy issues.

“I loved the opportunity to read to the kids and share some of my favorite children’s books with them.  Literacy is essential to early development and transition to school,” Rep. McCarthy Vahey said. “That is why I am in strong support of House Bill #6974 that will support and assist districts in strengthening and creating an intensive reading program for grades kindergarten through three. This bill is one of the recommendations of the Achievement Gap Task Force which identified effective approaches to closing the achievement gaps in Connecticut.”

The Connecticut Commission on Children’s Annual Report points out that Connecticut has the worst achievement gap in the U.S. caused by issues such as poverty, low maternal literacy, and children with limited exposure to language or books.

A child who is not reading by the end of first grade has a one in eight chance of ever becoming a proficient reader. The impact of low literacy is seen at many levels including school retention, special education, drop outs, unemployment and crime.

“The legislation is an important step forward in our efforts to emphasize literacy in our educational system and I will be following it closely as we enter into the home-stretch this session,” Rep. McCarthy Vahey added.

Cristin McCarthy Vahey represents Fairfield’s 133rd Assembly District. She serves on the Appropriations, Education and Transportations Committees.

Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) reads to preschool students.

Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) reads to preschool students.

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