New school program targets three year olds 

The B.C. government is providing $3 million to launch a new education program aimed at the province’s three year olds.

All 60 of B.C.’s school districts will be hosting an open house on the Ready, Set, Learn program, at which parents will receive a free book encouraging parents to read to their children.

"I want every child in B.C. to have the best possible chance for a great education," said Education Minister tom Christensen. "Research shows that by the time they reach three, some children are exposed to 30 million fewer words than others, Our Ready, Set, Learn program will help close that gap so that all parents and all kids do better."

At the open house meetings, parents and caregivers will receive:

• Age-appropriate books to read with their children.

• A family kit with tips for supporting preschoolers’ learning and development, which will also be available at the AchieveBC Web site at www.achievebc.ca.

• Information from district schools about their education programs.

• Information for families that are concerned about their child’s potential health and development issues.

"Early childhood development programs like Success by Six are making a difference in children’s lives," said Christensen. "Ready, Set, Learn builds on those programs and supports the work already going on in many families and communities by introducing children and their parents to school."

Participating schools hosting open houses will receive $2,500 each, and the government will cover the cost of the books and supplies.

Ready, Set, Learn is part of a commitment by the current government to make B.C. the most literate region in North America by 2010.

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