Our Approach

NC’s Pathways to Grade-Level Reading

Our vision is bold – all North Carolina children, regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, are reading on grade-level by the end of third grade, and all children with disabilities achieve expressive and receptive communication skills commensurate with their developmental ages, so that they have the greatest opportunity for life success. Achieving it will take long-term commitment. 

To get there, we need state and local policies and practices aligned around and actively advancing a common vision, shared measures of success and coordinated strategies that support children’s optimal development beginning at birth.

The NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Project is creating partnerships among the state’s early learning and education, public agency, policy, philanthropic and business leaders to define a common vision, shared measures of success and coordinated strategies that support children’s optimal development beginning at birth.

Be a Pathways Partner! Join this network of diverse early learning and education, public agency, policy, philanthropic and business leaders working across disciplines, sectors and systems. Learn more here.

NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading is powered by the NC Early Childhood Foundation in collaboration with NC Child, The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., and BEST NC.

Download the Pathways Fact Sheet.

Materials, Documents and Links

  • Measures of Success.  The measures of success are whole-child, beginning at birth, and align with the goals in Lisbeth Schorr’s Pathway to Children Ready for School and Succeeding at Third Grade, including: Health and Development on Track Beginning at Birth, Supported and Supportive Families and Communities and High Quality Birth-to-Eight Early Care and Education.
  • Stakeholder Meetings.
    • November 13, 2015. More than 85 attendees representing government agencies, nonprofit organizations, the private sector, foundations, research institutions and members of the General Assembly came together and agreed that we could improve outcomes for young children by aligning around a common set of measures and strategies. It was the launch of what would become the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative.
    • May 20, 2016. More than 90 attendees came together to review and adopt common measures of success and begin a process to determine where to act first.
    • March 10, 2017. More than 140 state leaders and partners came together to review the recommendation of a set of seven measures of success to move to action on first, based on the research-based connections of the measures to grade-level reading, and the need and inequities found in the North Carolina data for the measures.
  • Data Action TeamThe Data Action Team will engage in a landscape survey of existing national birth-to-eight indicators and those indicators being used by NC state-level organizations. The goal of the review will be to select a limited number of measures of success that best suit NC’s context based on our state’s strengths and needs. The stakeholder group will be kept abreast of the Data Action Team’s work, and their feedback will be solicited on a regular basis as the Data Action Team moves through the process of selecting the measures of success.
  • Learning Teams. Learning Teams are comprised of content experts, data experts and policy thinkers. There are three learning teams, one for each goal (Health, Families/Communities, and Birth-to-Eight Education). Learning Teams will make sense of the trends, inequities, patterns and connections in the NC data and identify data gaps.