There is wealth in the village: Exploring early literacy and the cultural wealth capital of black parents with children entering kindergarten

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Barnes, Prisca Nicole
Patterson, Jean A.

For over 30 years, national task forces, commissions, and initiatives have emphasized the importance of children's early years to ensure they are ready for kindergarten. To address this problem, Goal 1 of the Educate America Act of 1993 stated that "by the year 2000, all children in America will start school ready to learn" (Early Childhood Education). Black children are a group not achieving the "ready to learn" goal at a disproportionate rate and enter school on average nearly seven months behind in reading by the time they enter kindergarten compared to their White peers (Friedman-Krauss and Barnett, 2020). Much is to be discovered about how and why Black parents prepare their children to enter kindergarten and the impact their preparation has on later literacy achievement. This study, grounded in Dr. Tara J. Yosso's (2005) Cultural Wealth Model, represents a framework to understand how students of color access and experience the school environment from a strengths-based perspective. In this study, the narrative inquiry approach is employed to elicit the stories that depict the perceptions of Black parents who have children entering kindergarten. Data collection included individual conversational interviews with Black mothers with children 4-5 years old. This study provides a deeper understanding and awareness of how Black parents, including mothers, perceive their value in their child’s readiness and what role reading plays in the home of their emerging kindergartener. The research goes beyond the deficit view to illuminate strategies and solutions to move Black children from failure to success.

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Thesis (E.dD)-- Wichita State University, College of Applied Studies, Dept. of Intervention Services and Leadership in Education