Kelly Russell, child development services manager for Champaign County Head Start, describes how Illinois Public Media’s Book Mentor Project builds community support for early literacy in Champaign County.
Every year, Illinois Public Media trains more than100 volunteer readers who go into Head Start and early childhood classrooms to read a book and do a related activity with the children. Some volunteers, like Shony Coleman, are parents.
Head Start teacher Cecelia Mintz thought kids’ shows were just kids’ shows until she saw how the children in her classroom responded to the PBS KIDS early literacy series SUPER WHY! As one of more than 60 teachers in Illinois Public Media’s Book Mentor Project, Mintz watches episodes of SUPER WHY! with her classroom and integrates concepts and activities from the show into her curriculum.