I applaud the editorial supporting the budget proviso that will help South Carolina children to be proficient readers. It is important, however, for people to understand that reading readiness does not begin in kindergarten. Early exposure to reading and language at home is critical in children's preparation for school.
The program, Zero to Three, states, "We now know that children gain significant knowledge of language, reading and writing long before they enter school." Therefore, reading and verbal interaction in the first three years of a child's life is critical to success in school and, subsequently, life.
For 12 years, volunteers with the local program, Born to Read, have been visiting new parents in the birthing centers of Beaufort Memorial and Hilton Head hospitals to talk with them about the importance of reading to their babies, even at birth. The volunteers give the parents books and a literacy gift bag.
Our community is most fortunate to have such a program to educate parents about early literacy. Thank you, Born to Read volunteers, for your efforts to educate parents on this most fundamental responsibility.