Ensuring that all children are reading at grade level by the end of the third grade is a critical piece of the educational pipeline and a foundational issue when it comes to addressing the grave concern of workforce development in Rhode Island. GPCC understands that the business community is one of the main stakeholders when it comes to promoting systemic change in education efforts, particularly the focus on reading proficiency. As a result, GPCC co-hosted the Grade Level Reading Corporations Breakfast along with the Rhode Island Foundation and the City of Providence, to learn more about the pioneering work of the Every1Reads campaign and how the business community can help Providence achieve its early and elementary literacy goals.
Fifteen business leaders joined in the discussion, raising questions about educator buy-in, adult literacy connections and the challenge of working with students who are English language learners. Attendees also requested that educators incorporate technology themes into the grade level reading efforts, noting the abundance of tech related jobs in the Rhode Island workforce landscape, but the lack of workers prepared to fill those posts.
How can you join in this initiative where reading success matters? Corporate Champions for Grade Level Reading suggest the following:
- Recruit 10 Providence Reads Volunteers from your business to tutor students once a week
- Sign Ready Nation Pledge at www.readynation.org
- Facilitate Parent Education: Host a grade level workshop; Provide time off to your employees so they can attend a parent workshop
- Sponsor Providence Reads Initiatives: Read in PCL summer reading program; Donate books to PCL or Reach Out and Read; Help fund Providence Reads PSA
The outcomes of these collective efforts are measurable and important. Students who participate in this program and others like it have accelerated reading skills acquisition; increased vocabulary; learn 30% faster than their peers who received no support; and are influenced by their reading mentor in expanding their education experiences and career considerations.
To learn more contact firstname.lastname@example.org