Campaign for Grade Level Reading
You are five years old, and just entering into kindergarten! It’s all so new and exciting. There are numbers and letters, but all of the other children already seem to know them. HOW?
Now you are six, and you are trying to read, but it’s difficult. You don’t have many books at home to practice with, and no one to help you. Your teacher is trying her best, but there are so many students in your class.
Years go by, school gets harder. You need to read all the time now, no matter the subject…math, science, health. It all requires reading. You are lost and truly frustrated. How are you going to get through school and to graduation when you don’t have the tools you need to get you there? Do you think this story is rare
The Reality: Of Regina’s 33,000 students:
enter into kindergarten not
knowing letters or numbers.
cannot read proficiently by Grade 3.
do not graduate Grade 12 on time.
Our Commitment: Imagine a city where every child has a strong start.
We all know prevention beats intervention. In preventing poverty, violence and crime, one factor is all-powerful: Education. One factor predicts school success better than all others: Grade 3 reading. If you’re not reading by Grade 3, you are four times more likely to miss graduating on time, making it harder to move on to post-secondary and a job that will support a family. Why?
Kids have four short years to become proficient readers. Teachers do the best they can to teach reading by Grade 3, but classes are big and resources limited. Then in Grade 4, the curriculum switches from learning to read to reading to learn. If you’re not reading by the switch, the challenges snowball. By fifth grade you’re a year behind. By ninth, you’re two years behind and unlikely to graduate from high school.
On October 15, 2019 United Way Regina officially became part of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading (CGLR) Network. Regina is the second Canadian city to join the network, after Calgary. The CGLR is a collaborative effort to improve reading proficiency and early school success for children, particularly from low-income families.
We are thrilled at the success of our hard work throughout year one of our campaign which has earned us the recognition of a ‘Bright Spot Community’ by the Campaign For Grade Level Reading. Bright Spot Communitites are those communities that developed exemplary or innovative responses to the COVID crisis, including new or adaptive roles, programs, organizational relationships/collaborations, policies and/or resources. In particular, the Campaign is recognizing communities for crafting solutions that seem especially effective, replication-worthy and/or deserving of being sustained during the post-COVID period, and Regina is honoured to receive this recognition.
We believe every young person should have access to the tools and resources they require in order to embark on their journey of school success, regardless of financial barriers.
How Will We Get There?
United Way Regina serves as the backbone for Regina’s 3rd Grade Reading Collective Impact Initiative. With help from many partners, we combined local research and data with community expertise to create Regina’s Community Solutions Action Plan. This Plan is designed to guide our efforts in ensuring more low-income children have opportunities for early school success.
United Way Regina is committed to moving the needle on early childhood literacy rates. In order to achieve results, we will bring together a total of 12 community schools and community partners over the next 3 years to focus on four key areas: school readiness, access to books, chronic absence, and summer learning loss.
Over the course of the next 3 years, we will infuse 4 schools a year with literacy programs and initiatives to help achieve greater student success.