Design Challenge: Create a solution for a systemic problem.
Recent research by Dana Suskind indicates that children who are exposed to early literacy teachings from the time they are born are more likely to develop the literacy skills needed to succeed later in life. Being exposed to early literacy is dependent largely on parent and caretaker involvement. However, many parents are working long hours in order to provide food and shelter for their children. This limits how much time parents are able to spend with developing early literacy skills with their children. Additionally, there are 32 million adults in the United States who are illiterate, and who have never seen early literacy techniques in practice. This creates a systemic problem of illiteracy in the United States.
I designed a two-part approach to changing this system. The first part is to provide early literacy guides for working parents that can incorporated into regular morning and bedtime routines with their children. The second part is an educational component to teach people about early literacy techniques. Early literacy development would be taught in all high school health classes, incorporated into prenatal class, and offered at all well-baby check-ups.