READ Act and Early Literacy Grants Work to Improve Significant Reading Deficiencies
Stand for Children recently released the State of Literacy in Colorado report. The report found that students have seen a 60 percent reduction in significant reading deficiencies. This success is due to the phenomenal work of teachers and school leaders, as well as the investment of our state’s dollars in early literacy.
The report analyzes achievement data for students in fourth and eighth grades based on several measures, including the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and state indicators for students with significant reading deficiencies.
In 2012, the legislature passed the Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act with a goal to ensure all students are proficient by the end of third grade. Results highlighted in the report illustrate the importance of early literacy investments like the READ Act and the profound implications early literacy can have for students later on in life.
It also reveals how much work still needs to be done to ensure all kids have the opportunity to be successful. Research shows that third grade literacy is one of the best predictors of high school graduation and an important indicator for a successful workforce.
In addition to the support that schools and districts receive through READ Act funding, there are additional grant opportunities for school leaders and educators through the Early Literacy Grant (ELG) program. The ELG provides school leaders and educators tools for universal and targeted interventions, such as curricula, and diagnostic and interim assessments that help foster improvement for all students. Schools and districts that have participated in this grant program and have received support through the READ Act are seeing the greatest growth for their students.
There have been great gains for all students since the READ Act was implemented and ELG grant awards launched just over four years ago. It is important that we continue to support the READ Act and funding through the Early Literacy Grant program to ensure a bright future for all students.