A reading enrichment program for elementary school students, Rockin’ Readers was inspired by the donation of a rocking chair to a Denton elementary school. RSVP volunteers read to classes Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade on a regularly scheduled basis. This program is currently offered in DISD, LISD and Little Elm ISD and continues to grow each school year.
According to a study by B. Hart and T. Risley, 1995, a child from a low-income family enters kindergarten with a listening vocabulary of 3,000 words, while a child of a middle-income family enters with a listening vocabulary of 20,000 words. In addition, a summary of findings by Denton West and Geronimo-Hausken (2000) state that less than half of families read to their kindergarten age children on a daily basis. With this in mind, public school officials determined the need to develop programs that would encourage Kindergarten and First grade students to embrace the enjoyment of reading. Children are prone to excel in school throughout their entire education if they have a stronger literary base from a young age. This in turn will positively effect their vocabularies. Additionally, years of research indicates that children are more likely to succeed in learning when they feel supported. Secretary Paige of the Department of Education said that how well children learn to read affects directly not only how successful they are in school but how well they do throughout their lives. He said that when children learn to read, they have the key that opens the door to all the knowledge of the world. Without this key, many children are left behind.