Reading at the Crossroads
By faithnetwork | April 3rd,2018
by Eric Steckel, Communications Manager
Imagine, for a moment, the smiling young boy in the picture. He’s about to graduate third grade with his entire life before him, full of unlimited possibilities. Perhaps one day he’ll study to be a doctor or create the Next Big Thing in tech. He holds so much promise and has so much time.
Now imagine that same little boy standing at a lonely fork in the road. On one path he is supported by a caring community, catching up to his classmates in reading and realizing the promise of unlimited possibility. On the second path, he doesn’t get the help he needs to catch up in reading, putting at risk the dreams of academic achievement and a fulfilling career… or, worse, sealing him for the harshness of a life of poverty.
That fork in the road is very real. Children who cannot read at grade level in third grade are at a critical moment in their young lives. During this precious time, students transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Students who cannot read to learn fall further and further behind, going to class but gaining nothing. But that’s not all.
Children entering the fourth grade who cannot read at grade level are fueling the school-to-prison pipeline. According to US Department of Education, 60 percent of America’s prison inmates are illiterate and 85 percent of all juvenile offenders have reading deficiencies.
If that fact isn’t sobering, consider this: 60 percent of third-graders in the Oakland Unified School District are reading below grade level.
In the 2017-2018 school year, your gifts of time and resources are helping over 270 struggling students in the East Bay learn to read. Your support of our Succeeding by Reading program allows us to intervene at this crucial stage. You are helping 270 ”at-promise” children avoid becoming “at risk.”
There is a pressing need for reading tutoring in our Oakland Public Schools. Your continued gifts will help us expand the program in more schools and guide many more children facing a lonely fork in the road.
Every $50 gift provides one year of tutoring materials for a new reader in our Succeeding by Reading clinics.
$100 will support one school library visit with storytime for 25 children. A $250 gift equips 10 community volunteers to serve as literacy tutors. $1000 supports one struggling readers with a weekly tutor for a full school year! Will you partner with us to help a struggling student learn to read? You can give online today at https://donate.faith-network.com.