The Rhode Island Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

The United Way of Rhode Island, in partnership with Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, launched the Rhode Island Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in November 2015. This Campaign brings together business, government, education, labor, and non-profit leaders to work to improve third-grade reading proficiency. This milestone is of vital importance to children's success and to the success of our state because children who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than their peers. 

The next convening of the RI Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is on September 29th at The United Way. Please email [email protected] for more information.
Governor Sets Bold Goal for Improving Third-Grade Reading

On September 14, 2016, the Governor held a press conference at Varieur Elementary School in Pawtucket and committed to achieving the ambitious goal of ensuring that three out of four Rhode Island third graders score proficient or higher in reading by 2025, when children born this year are in third grade. In 2015, 37% of third graders met expectations on the PARCC.

The Rhode Island Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is excited to work with partners in government, business, schools, and non-profit agencies to meet this challenge by focusing on core strategies that are essential to improving third-grade reading proficiency: school readiness, summer learning, reducing chronic absence, and ensuring high quality literacy instruction in the early years and the early grades.
September is Attendance Awareness Month!

Chronic absence is defined as missing 10% or more of the school year (i.e., 18 days or more). Students who are absent from school miss critical opportunities to learn and develop positive relationships within the school community and are at risk of disengagement from school, academic failure, and dropping out. 

In Rhode Island, during the 2014-2015 school year, 14% of students in kindergarten through third grade were chronically absent with 18% of Rhode Island kindergarten students, 14% of first graders, 12% of second graders, and 11% of third graders chronically absent.

Reducing chronic absence in the early grades is a key strategy for improving third-grade reading proficiency and an important goal of the Rhode Island Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. 

Attendance Awareness Month is a nationwide recognition of the connection between school attendance and academic achievement. Everybody plays a role in ensuring children attend school regularly - click here for suggestions on how to improve attendance and reduce chronic absence! You can also follow and join the conversation on social media all month long by using the hashtag #schooleveryday - and see some great resources here!

Chronic Early Absence Fact Sheet 
Find out more about chronic absence in the early grades and its connection to third grade reading in Rhode Island KIDS COUNT's Early Learning Fact Sheet on Reducing Chronic Early Absence

Important New National Report on Chronic Absence 
Earlier this month, Attendance Works released a new report, Preventing Missed Opportunity, which examines chronic absence data from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and features Rhode Island data and examples. Please also see The Providence Journal's coverage of the issue and the story on ABC6 news