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Online Professional Learning and
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21st Century Community Learning Centers

The Vocabulary Gap

Children enter school with widely differing vocabularies in terms of the number of words they understand at a deep level. Compelling evidence from a longitudinal study of the vocabularies of young children living in upper-, middle- and low-income families revealed that at the age of 3, children from low- income families had vocabularies about half the size of the middle-class children. Additionally, it turned out that despite entrance into language-rich school environments, vocabulary size at age 3 predicted language skills and reading comprehension skills at age 9-10. 

The Achievement Gap

21st CCLC programs can play an important role in growing the vocabularies of the children they serve. And by bolstering vocabulary, you have the power to make children better readers!

The graph above is included in Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.


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