An Elf on the Shelf for learning
|Lindsey O'Connell. Facebook.|
Former Moyer Elementary kindergarten teacher Lindsey O’Connell created a children’s book and plush owl toy to help parents reinforce early childhood education at home.
A survey of 518 kindergarten teachers by Age of Learning Inc., an education technology company, shows “65 percent stated that children are only somewhat prepared or are not at all prepared.” Two-thirds of the teachers surveyed reported that the majority of children do not know their alphabet when they enter kindergarten.
Children in all grade levels also struggle to retain knowledge over summer break. A study by the tutoring service Oxford Learning found that “on average 2 months of reading skills and 2.6 months of math skills are lost over the summer.”
O’Connell is a Teach For America alumna, a former kindergarten and special education teacher and a mother of two. O’Connell says she created the book “to motivate children to learn core skills, like letters, numbers and shapes while having fun.” By pairing the book with the owl toy, she found children got excited about learning each morning and it had an impact similar to that of the popular Christmas toy Elf on a Shelf.
O’Connell has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund My Owl Pal. Backers can reserve a book and owl with a $38 pledge.
Owls are expected to fly to homes before the 2017 school year. Go here for more information.