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THD WIC Clinics Introduce Little by Little School Readiness Program

THD WIC Clinics Introduce Little by Little School Readiness Program

TULSA, OK – [June 29, 2017] – The Tulsa Health Department’s WIC program is pleased to announce the launch of an early children literacy program at three WIC clinic locations in Tulsa.

The Little by Little School Readiness program is designed to provide the knowledge and resources to low-income families so they can begin to foster and support early literacy habits within their home on a daily basis. The program was first introduced at six WIC clinics in Los Angeles County. Tulsa County is the first expansion of the program. 

“The neighborhood WIC site is one of the few places that young families visit regularly from birth to age five,” said Pam Holt, Tulsa Health Department WIC program manager. “Therefore, families can benefit from school readiness interventions that begin long before school-age.”

According to the National Institute for Literacy and the Center for Education Statistics, more than 40 million adults in the United States are functionally illiterate. Many students enter kindergarten performing below their peers and remain behind as they move through the grades. There is a well-established correlation between prior knowledge and reading comprehension, which means that students who fall behind are less likely to ever catch up. The differences are quantifiable as early as age three, highlighting the importance of providing a strong foundation for reading from birth through age five.

“Little by Little prepares children to be more successful in school and in life by getting parents actively involved in forging early home literacy habits. In a statistically rigorous study of the program launch in Los Angeles County , children who received Little by Little services were significantly more school-ready than those who had not,” said Holt. “We expect to give out 20,000 books to program participants in the next six months and we’re really excited about the impact that will have for children and families.”

During the course of their visits to WIC, program participants receive:

  • Age-appropriate handouts on reading, development, household safety and family engagement (available in English and Spanish)
  • High-quality children’s books
  • Guidance tied to child development milestones 
  • Assistance in connecting to important community services—childcare, preschool and others

Little by Little is offered at the THD WIC clinics located at 5051 S. 129th E. Ave., 315 S. Utica, and 9924 East 21st Street. Families eligible for WIC who are interested in the program can call 918-582-WELL (9355) to learn how to enroll.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also known as WIC, provides supplemental foods, breastfeeding support, health care referrals and nutrition education for low-income pregnant and postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Seed funding for the development of the Little by Little School Readiness program was provided by First 5 LA. First 5 LA is a leading early childhood advocate organization created by California voters to invest Proposition 10 tobacco tax revenues. Funding for the THD’s Little by Little program is provided by the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

For more information on WIC and the Little by Little program please visit tulsa-health.org. 

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