Registration for the Reading Success Summit is now closed.
Once students transition from the 3rd to 4th grade, they go from learning to read to reading to learn. This means children are expected to use reading to learn other subjects. Kids who reach fourth grade without being able to read proficiently are more likely to struggle academically. The data shows students who can’t read at a proficient level or above in 3rd grade are 4 times more likely not to graduate high school by the age of 19. This leads to higher dropout rates and likely results in difficulties finding suitable and/or financially secure career prospects.
In Brown County, reading proficiency levels have been slowly declining, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. During the 2016-2017 school year, 41% of Brown County students were reading at a proficient level. The most recent 2020-2021 shows a 14% decrease in reading proficiency, with only 27% of Brown County students meeting 3rd-grade reading proficiency targets. Checking out all of the data here!
Reading proficiency scores in Brown County also reveal massive equity gaps between children of marginalized populations and white students. The largest racial equity gap, a 31.3% difference, exists between Latinx and white students. However, no equity gap exists that is lower than 16%.
As a direct response to the declining reading proficiency levels and equity gaps in our community, Achieve Brown County and the Brown County Library will be hosting a Reading Success Summit. By bringing together subject matter experts, industry partners, and community members, we are taking the first step to create a stronger community of readers in Brown County.
Reading success affects every person in our community and everyone in our community has a role to play. Creating a strong community of readers is an important gateway to establishing a path to high school graduation, successful careers, active citizenship for all children, and a robust economy.
The Reading Success Summit aims to create a future where all children are reading at a proficient level. However, approaches must be intersectional and recognize the unique experiences and cultures of the students in Brown County Schools.
There is no one size fits all approach to creating better readers in our county. That is why we are calling on our entire community to join us in co-creating a brighter future for our children.