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What is kindergarten readiness and why is it so important? According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students enter kindergarten at different skills levels, which is natural given that children come from a variety of early childhood experiences, ranging from highly-skilled-focused pre-K programs, play-based preschools, Head Start, or no preschool at all. An average kindergarten class may have children with a five-year skill range in terms of reading ability, from children who don’t recognize letters or letter sounds to those who can read short books. This makes the kindergarten teacher’s job particularly challenging.

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Homer, the #1 Learn-to-Read app, is offering tips to help parents and students be better prepared for the start of kindergarten.

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The transition to kindergarten can be a tough one for both children and their parents. To make the transition as easy and fun as possible, you want to make sure your child is prepared! Your teacher will probably provide a list of necessary school supplies, but in case you’d like a head-start, here’s a list of the must-have items for any incoming kindergartener!

1. Backpack

It may go without saying, but your child needs something to hold all of their supplies in! In addition, having a cool backpack can help your child feel confident and excited to begin this new experience. They may want a backpack with their favorite color, television character, or more! Check out these bags from Amazon for a starting point.

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School is almost back in session – do you have Homer for your classroom?

Homer for Educators is FREE for all teachers, librarians, and media personnel with a verified .edu, .org, .net or non-profit educational organization email. You’ll have compete access to all lessons, stories, and songs in the #1 Learn-to-Read Program, as well as hundreds of our printable lesson worksheets through the Educator dashboard. Your account will hold up to 30 students and you can track each student’s progress!

Sign up for your FREE Homer for Educators account here!

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Earlier this week, Homer announced a partnership with Dollar General and Horizons National to bring summer literacy opportunities to low income students. 

What is Horizons National?

The Horizons National Summer Enrichment Program is a network of community-centered academic summer programs that puts low-income public school students of varying abilities on the path to success. Horizons’ mission is to close the achievement gap by providing underserved children access to high-quality academics in an engaging summer program.  It has been well documented that gaps between middle and low income students grow more pronounced over the summer months, when upper income children may attend enrichment programs or summer camps while their lower income peers do not have access to the same costly educational opportunities. As a result, low-income students tend to fall further behind in reading and math during the summer months, while their more economically advantaged peers keep pace or even jump ahead.  This phenomenon, known as “summer slide,” is a major contributor to the achievement gap between middle and low income students and one of the most urgent educational issues in our country.

Summer learning loss leaves low-income students as much as three years behind their higher income peers by the time they reach fifth grade. In contrast, Horizons students gain an average of two to three months in reading and math skills during the six-week summer program, keeping them at grade level or above.

We are so excited to work with Horizons to make a positive impact in several communities!

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