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Childswork Learning Center

Kindergarten Literacy Program

We know your child will enter kindergarten with a wealth of knowledge. Holding true to the literacy goals below, your child’s interests and inquiry about the world will strengthen through our literacy practice. At Childswork Learning Center, we will guide and support your child to:

  • Foster authorship and a love of stories: by listening to and through telling, writing, and reading.
  • Develop good reading and writing habits to strengthen life-long reading and writing practice.
  • Build vocabulary to confidently express one’s own thinking, ideas, and feelings verbally.
  • Understand common book features & types through exposure to a variety of literature and authentic writing practice.
  • Understand story structure and how to express ideas in writing.
  • Build comprehension strategies to use while reading to make meaning of a variety of texts.
  • Gain “fix-up” strategies to decipher and read developmentally appropriate “just right” texts.
  • Build an understanding of the conventions and features of print (i.e. letters are symbols for sound, hear/differentiate that sounds make up words, letter recognition, form upper and lower case letters, sentence structure).
  • Build a repertoire of sight words to use while reading and writing.

These goals represent a blend of research-based best practices for early childhood and elementary education and Common Core State Standards for kindergarten literacy.

Literacy is immersed throughout our daily curriculum. We believe that literacy is a way of making meaning and sharing thinking with others. Whether through reading, writing, or conversation, we structure your child’s experience to deepen understanding and critical thinking. You will often hear us validate, push thinking, or inquire in another way of doing something.

The path to literacy requires interaction with others. Often our work is done through collaboration. We purposefully share thinking in various sized groups and teach ways to offer constructive criticism to support peer’s writing and thinking. We value the kindergarten’s roll in our school community as leaders for our younger peers. Often we will use literacy as a way to connect with other classrooms, sharing our strengths as reading buddies or as liaison for larger community and neighborhood events.

Reading Workshop

In the Childswork kindergarten, we provide a structure that teaches reading through modeling, shared experiences, practice, and reflection. We call this structure, Reading Workshop.

Reading Workshop invites your child to read books together with peers, listen to and discuss stories, and learn strategies to help your child to become a stronger reader. We know that kindergarten includes a large range of readers, from emergent to fluent. During the school year, we create individual goals along-side your child to meet their developmental abilities in reading and get them ready to enter a 1st grade classroom by the end of the year.

Our Reading Workshop structure allows us time to meet one-on-one with your child to guide their learning, as well as provide a reading experience that can be shared in partners, in small book circles, and independently. We want your child to foster a love of reading, so we provide a variety of genres and reading experiences to create an authentic relationship with reading that can extend beyond our school day.

As your child develops an understanding of the world of print, we value the ability to play or “mess about” with letters and words. Often this playful literacy extends beyond Reading Workshop into other parts of our day. Materials (through artistic design) allow the imagery contained in words to come alive. We also take trips to the Belmont Library and partner with younger classes to form Reading Buddies, a relationship in which your child reads to a younger child.

Story Workshop

Story Workshop is a structure that encourages your child to develop authentic stories through play, collaboration, and the arts. Young people read the world prior to reading the printed word. For your child, meaning is naturally made through experience and conversation. The exploration of and ability to play with materials helps to draw your child’s stories out. It helps develop the language needed to create a storyline or non-fiction text.

Our kindergarten’s Story Workshop invites your child to access the elements of writing: voice, language, story structure, and print convention in an authentic and developmentally appropriate way. Because of the authenticity of the stories created, your child will feel empowered and motivated to take steps towards writing. As they create meaning from materials with which they interact, the story not only comes from them, but your child can also live in the story.

Story Workshop provides a structure for your child to work in collaboration with peers and independently. As the year progresses we introduce the publication process, which provides time for your child to share and receive feedback about writing work from peers and teachers. Whether it’s a question to prompt more detail or an applause to encourage more writing, this process supports life-long learning in authorship and reflective writing practice.

“Our role is to welcome children, with their many unique gifts and needs, and provide them a strong, developmentally appropriate kindergarten experience that will not only help them reach standards, but provide them with experiences that will ignite a love of learning that can last a lifetime.”
- Gera Jacobs & Kathy Crowley

For more information about the Kindergarten Program, please visit the Kindergarten pages. Please call 503-234-3611 or email Admissions, admissions@childswork.org if you are interested in more details.

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About Childswork

Childswork Learning Center is a non-profit early childhood education school located in Southeast Portland, Oregon. Since 1984, our school has served a diverse population of children and families, focusing on the development of the whole child with respect and compassion.

Childswork is a safe place for children to explore, take chances, make messes and learn through play. At Childswork we nurture wonder, we embrace joy, and we foster discovery.

Rights of Participation

No person shall be denied the services or facilities of this organization or be excluded from participation or services because of race, age, color, sex, sexual orientation, creed, religion, handicap, or national origin; discrimination of any kind is expressly prohibited.