A staggering 80% of low income children do not read at grade-level by the end of 3rd grade.
Early reading success is one of the most critical academic milestones for young children, and a leading predictor of future academic success, including high school graduation and postsecondary completion. Research shows that if a student cannot read on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, s/he is four times less likely to graduate high school than a student who can. When the effects of poverty are considered, the same child is 13 times less likely to graduate than a proficient, wealthier peer.
In response, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, National League of Cities, and United Way Worldwide teamed up to sponsor an All America Cities award competition in 2012. The competition was intended to spark interest in 3rd grade reading and encourage communities across the country to develop comprehensive plans to tackle this challenge by 2020. Specifically, the campaign targets improvements in three strategic areas that have a proven impact on 3rd grade reading success: Kindergarten Readiness, Attendance and Summer Learning.
In Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, more than 70 cross-sector leaders joined The Strive Partnership and the Northern Kentucky Education Council to launch a multi-year, multi- dimensional campaign spanning seven counties, two states, and 19 school districts. Co-chairs, Northern Kentucky business leader & technology entrepreneur, Brent Cooper, and University of Cincinnati President, Santa Ono, will serve as leading advocates for the campaign, helping to build community awareness and support, assist with fundraising efforts, and facilitate cross-collaborative dialogue.