Literacy Programs

One of our key goals is to ensure that our preschoolers enter public school ready to learn.  One of the leading indicators of future academic success is early childhood literacy.  Early literacy is linked to scholastic achievement, reduced grade retention, higher graduation rates, and enhanced productivity in adult life (source: Reading Rockets).  At Critchlow Adkins, we have implemented a series of programs aimed at ensuring that our 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old students are fully prepared when they enter kindergarten.  Scroll down to learn more about Raising a Reader, VIOLETS, and Dialogic Reading!


When families are involved with reading to their children, academic achievement improves. With Raising a Reader, we send a red bag full of books home each week for our preschool children to read with their loved ones.  At the end of the year, children in the 4-year-old program receive a blue bag full of books that they get to keep and love.  This helps children develop literacy skills, and inspires a lifelong love of reading!

The Importance of Daily Reading Cannot Be Understated

Students who read for just 20 minutes a day outside of school experience a number of benefits:

Building Empathy – By encountering characters from many different backgrounds and circumstances, children develop a higher level of understanding of other people’s thoughts and emotions.

Sharpening Reading Comprehension – Reading from different texts and genres helps students sharpen their comprehension skills.

Developing Writing Skills – Reading regularly helps students internalize grammatical and syntax patterns, understand use of writing devices, and learn more challenging vocabulary that elevates their writing.

Scoring Higher on Standardized Tests – Students who read daily score, on average, in the 90th percentile on tests such as the SAT.

*Source: MEK Review

Watch Video: Does Reading Make You Smarter?


Ready at Five’s VIOLETS (Vocabulary Improvement and Oral Language Enrichment through Stories) curriculum is designed to help young English Language Learners (ages 3-5) and children with low expressive skills to develop oral language, pre-literacy skills, and background knowledge.  VIOLETS uses big book versions of several beloved children’s stories, chosen for their appeal to students and their alignment with state pre-k standards for physical development, language and literacy, social and emotional development, mathematical thinking, scientific thinking, social studies, and the arts.  

Before reading, children learn certain words and idiomatic expressions that are contained in the books.  During reading, teachers employ paraphrasing and questioning techniques to help children build background knowledge and build oral language proficiency.  In addition, “Core Knowledge” themes tie the books to state standards.  Some examples of VIOLETS books are listed below.


Rather than an adult reading to a child, and a child simply listening, Dialogic Reading helps the child become a storyteller.  Through a technique called the PEER sequence, the adult becomes the listener, questioner, and audience for the child.

During the PEER Sequence, the adult:

Prompts the child about something in the book,

Evaluates the child’s response,

Expands the child’s response by rephrasing and adding information to it, and

Repeats the prompt to make sure the child has learned from the expansion.

Watch the video to see an example of a teacher using dialogic reading to engage her students, and learn more about Dialogic Reading here.


We work with all of our preschool families to enroll their children in Imagination Library.  This phenomenal program was founded by Dolly Parton in 1995, inspired by her father’s inability to read.  Her original inspiration was to foster a love of reading for the children in her home county.  Today, Imagination Library spans 5 countries and gives away more than 2 million books each month.

Through Imagination Library, our children have a free book mailed to them every month until the age of five.  This allows them to build their own home libraries and further encourages families to read together.

We are proud to be able to offer so many programs that set our Critchlow Kids up for success in school and in life!

Read Along At Home!

Our awesome teachers have created some read-aloud videos that you can watch with your child!  Click on each video to watch together!

 *We do not own the rights to the featured stories.

Miss Jennifer reading Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn
Miss Jennifer reading Mama Cat Has 3 Kittens by Denise Fleming
Miss Michelle reading And Here’s To You by David Elliott
Miss Jema Reads Diez Perros En La Tienda by Claire Masurel
Miss Jennifer Reads Bein’ This Way With You by W. Nikola-Lisa
Miss Jennifer Reads In the Tall Tall Grass by Denise Fleming
Miss Jennifer Reads Busy Bear’s Family by Stella Blackstone
Miss Jennifer Reads Pete the Cat – Old MacDonald by James Dean
Miss Jennifer Reads Thesaurus Rex by Laya Steinberg
Miss Jennifer Reads Daddy Calls Me Man by Angela Johnson
Miss Jennifer Reads My Car by Byron Barton
Miss Jennifer Reads The Feel Good Book by Todd Parr
Miss Jennifer Reads Mae Among The Stars by Roda Ahmed
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