This is Pre-S.C.O.R.E., a pilot program developed by First Stage Children’s Theater to increase literacy in preschool children. The program uses creative drama to teach language arts. With well-loved children’s books as a springboard for a lesson, Miss Julia brings the story to life with activities and dramatizations based on elements of the book and its characters. Research shows that for very young children, exploring and playing with books is essential to the development of early literacy skills and long-term literacy development. Owning books, too, enhances literacy efforts, and the Pre-SCORE program provides a copy of the book for each student to keep as a first step in building a personal library. The pilot program receives support through a grant from National City, now a part of PNC Bank.
That cold afternoon passed quickly. Miss Julia generously shared her secret ingredients of creativity and imagination and the children gobbled up the story of Guji Guji, a baby crocodile who believes he is a duck. As students tucked away new copies of the book into their backpacks, their minds were like little stoves, turned on and ready to cook up their own tale of ducky bravery back home.