Grade Level Reading
Too many of our nation's children and youth cannot read. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than two-thirds of public school 4th graders are less than proficient readers; ditto for 8th graders. Poor readers face a difficult future: children who do not read at grade level by 3rd grade are unlikely to graduate from high school, and high school dropouts are more likely to be unemployed, single parents, on welfare, or in prison.
At Foundations, we are committed to improving the outlook for our nation's striving readers. Every day in cities across the country, Foundations equips schools and school districts, governments and businesses, families and neighborhoods with the essential educational strategies they need to help children learn to read early and learn to read well. Foundations provides professional development, technical assistance, coaching, and extended day learning programs – all focused on grade level reading.
Our nationally recognized annual conference, Beyond School Hours, offers educators the tools and knowledge they need to transform their students into lifelong readers. Foundations has also worked with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, as a partner in its flagship initiative, Making Connections. Making Connections is a decade-long effort to improve outcomes for children living in tough neighborhoods by addressing the many factors that can contribute to family vulnerability, including low levels of literacy, educational attainment, and job skills. At the eight Making Connections sites, Foundations' focus has been literacy; our experts have worked alongside local leadership teams, using a variety of research-tested interventions to increase the number of students who read at grade level by third grade.