Our goal is to ensure that all children are school-ready by kindergarten and grade-level readers by 3rd grade.
Children are born learning. Their early years are critical to their future success in school. Simple activities like parents reading to and with their children can make a huge difference and set children on the right path.
By third grade, children who have not learned the basics of reading will begin to fall behind in other subjects, making it more and more difficult to catch up as they progress through school. Third grade marks a critical shift where children move from learning to read to reading to learn.
In September of 2018, Lubbock Area United Way hosted its first United We Read event. More than 500 volunteers read the book The Little Red Fort to 3,535 second-graders across the Lubbock, Frenship, Lubbock-Cooper, Shallowater, and New Deal Independent School Districts. Every child went home with a copy of the book and a craft, including 138 books in Spanish.
The purpose of the event was to highlight the importance of students being grade-level readers by third grade. At this point, students who have not mastered basic reading skills will begin to fall behind in every area of study as classrooms shift from learning to read to reading to learn. The event also emphasized the importance of parents reading with their children.
In 2019, we plan to expand the event to include all 9 school districts in Lubbock County.
In partnership with Lubbock ISD, Frenship ISD, and Lubbock-Cooper ISD, we have compiled a comprehensive calendar of all summer reading and learning events in Lubbock County.
During the summer months, students risk losing 2-3 months of math and reading skills if they aren't engaged in learning. This is called "summer slide." Without books and computers in the home and the ability to afford high-quality summer camps, low-income income youth are at a greater risk for the summer slide than their peers.
The good news is that when high-quality summer learning programs are made available and when children have access to books, we can not only curb summer learning loss, we can even help boost student achievement. When children continue to learn during the summer, they are healthier, safer and smarter, and their schools and communities are more successful.