Words on Wheels -- WOW
Design Tech High School
BY MARIA MY AND VANI S //
Words on Wheels is a mobile literacy program designed for children aged three to seven especially in underprivileged areas. The program consists of four main parts: a student workshop, a parent program, a teen workshop, and a collection of resources for them to use. The student workshop is the main aspect of the program, and consists of a full day of literacy and design thinking activities. The parent program would be conducted at either the end or beginning of a student workshop, and serves to educate parents on the importance of literacy for young kids and how they can continue to help their child grow and learn at home. The teen workshop will happen one day prior to the student workshop, and during the workshop we will train a group of local teens to help teach the student workshop, effectively making the children more comfortable, especially if their native language is not english. Additionally, the teens would be able to continue helping in their community after we leave. Both the parent and teen programs serve to make sure the children are continually exposed to positive language environments. Finally, we provide many resources during our trips, and more can be found on our website (currently in progress). These resources include montessori based reading and writing activities, books for children of all levels, and printable and online materials people can access through a local library.
Audience Target and Why It is Important
Our target audience is children ages three to seven living in low income neighborhoods. Right now, these children collectively hear around 30 million less words than peers living in affluent areas. This leads to an obvious disadvantage in school, as they have a harder time understanding lessons and participating in group activities. Though this is already a problem by age three, we have a much wider platform to reach these children once they turn three. In the future, we would love to intervene even earlier, but for now we are targeting children ages three to seven, so we can decrease the gap by the time they reach elementary school. This is an incredibly relevant and important topic, and we are doing everything we can to combat this issue.
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