By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – ‘If you can’t read the words, talk about the pictures’ is the suggestion of teacher Elizabeth Bergner in a DC classroom. Down the hall these mothers have a chance to practice at the Briya Charter School where parents and young children are enrolled together.

This approach is trying to improve children’s prospects by building skills with those closest to them, where parents learn English, earn a degree or train for a better-paying job at the same time as their children are learning. Almost half the children younger than 6 live in low-income families and 1 in 4 meet the federal definition for poverty, $23,850 annually for a family of 4.

Nearly 100% of the 3 and 4-year-olds meet expectations and parents outperform national averages for language acquisition. Part of the program in the Promise Zones is based on research that a mother’s education is one of the strongest factors in a child’s success.

Read more in The Washington Post.

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