In Chico, our challenge is that 58% of our children are not able to read at grade level. Statistics show that children who cannot read proficiently by fourth grade are four times less likely to graduate from High School, making them more likely to engage in risky behavior, become involved in gang activity, and less likely to find employment.
By fourth grade, students have transitioned from LEARNING TO READ to READING TO LEARN. This fundamental skill of reading is essential, as it is the cornerstone from which children will go on to learn math, science, history, college and career readiness, and how to become an engaged citizen in our community.
As community members we take on the responsibility to partner with local schools to provide the kids in our neighborhoods the best chance for success, ensuring the success of our community as well. It takes just 30 hours out of the 8,760 hours in a year to change a child’s life. We need concerned citizens who are willing to spend ONE HOUR a week helping a child learn to read, in turn, building their self-confidence and setting them on a path to success.
In 2016-17, our data demonstrates students enrolled in Reading Pals gained an average of 2.3 months of literacy skills for every month they were enrolled in the program according to their STAR IRL scores. This means the majority of our students are picking up reading skills faster than they did before they were enrolled, as well as beginning to learn at rates that will enable them to catch up to their grade appropriate reading levels.