Hispanic Kids and Kindergarten Readiness

Hispanic Kids and Kindergarten Readiness

Compared to white or black kids, before starting school, Latino children are less likely to be able to write their names, discern the letters of the alphabet or count to 20 or higher, says the Child Trends organization in an article asking if Hispanic kids are ready for kindergarten overall.

Right from the get-go, when they start the first grade, they’re playing catch-up, which can’t help but affect their academic achievement throughout their school years. For instance, D Magazine states that only five percent of Latino youth are college-ready when the time rolls around.

There’s an important term here, and it’s called school readiness. Kids who start school with earlier attained skills, like having a basic knowledge of reading and math, have a higher likelihood, compared to their peers, of experiencing later school success, going on to college and having a career, if that’s their desire. One statistic found that vocabulary, reading and math disparities at elementary school entry is the reason for the approximately 50 percent test differential in high school achievement scores between children from disadvantaged homes and other children, says the Child Trends organization.

Research shows that about 65 percent of Latino kids do not attend preschool or kindergarten, the organization adds. As a result, by the first grade, there is a full one-year reading gap between English language learners (ELLs) and native speakers. By the fifth grade, there is a two-year gap, according to statistics by the American Progress organization.

Schools can radically make up the difference by bringing in an effective Latino family outreach and parental involvement program. The Latino Family Literacy Project is one such organization currently being relied on in 17 states (and growing) to get kids ready for kindergarten and the later years. By training over 10,000 teachers to date, The Project offers literacy programs to parents of preschoolers, kindergarteners and elementary school kids that help them to strengthen their reading skills, vocabulary and overall English language development. Teachers can attend a half day program training at a workshop near them or view an online webinar for program training.