In order to reach our goal, Read901 is mobilizing the community to build a commitment and take action on four focus areas that we know contribute to grade-level reading by the end of third grade:
Research shows that many children from low-income families start school unprepared. They are less likely to experience reading at home, have access to books, or receive high-quality early care. As a consequence, these children may hear as many as 30 million fewer words than their middle-income peers before reaching kindergarten. Research shows that such interactions are critical for language development, an important precursor to literacy.
After school and summer create opportunities for continued growth and sustained acheivement. Without access to enrichment, both academic and otherwise, less affluent students can lose as much as three months of reading comprehenion skills over the summer. This can leave students behind by as much as three grade levels by the end of fifth grade. Utilizing the summer and after school space to address this gap advances the march to grade-level reading.
Family serves as first teacher to their children. With emotinal and social support, family engagement ensures the success of other interventions, and can foster a love of learning.
Absences early in a child's school career can deny students the time they need to develop literacy skills. Measure chronic absence (missing 10% of school year) identifies all days a student missess--excused or not. That mark of chronic absense has preceded lower acadmic performance in the subsequent academic year. Being present is vital for ensuring grade-level reading.