Chatham, Durham and Rowan Communities Join NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Raleigh, NC (August 15, 2017) –Three North Carolina communities are taking on one of the most significant crises facing the state – the majority of our young children are not proficient in reading. Chatham, Durham and Rowan counties are joining the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) with more than 300 communities across the nation to increase early reading proficiency.

Chatham Reads, Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and Ready, Set, Read… ROWAN! support strategies beginning at birth that will put children on a pathway to grade-level reading by the end of third grade, the single greatest predictor of future academic and career success.

“Sixty-seven percent of jobs by 2020 will require some post-secondary education, yet today only 42 percent of the workforce possess that level of education. Early reading proficiency is critical to our children’s academic and career success. Communities investing in early learning are investing in their communities’ economy,” said Lisa Finaldi, Community Engagement Leader for the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation.

The CGLR mobilizes funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that many more children succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship. Chatham Reads, Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and Ready, Set, Read… ROWAN! join six other CGLR communities in North Carolina – Gaston, Mecklenburg, Moore, Nash/Edgecombe, Wake and Wayne.

Only 38 percent of North Carolina fourth graders and 25 percent of students from economically disadvantaged families scored at or above reading proficiency on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2015. Reading in the early grades predicts high school and later success. Those who read well go on to graduate, but those who are not reading well by the end of third grade, are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

“Chatham County has so many inspiring and remarkable organizations aligned to focus on the importance of early literacy. Supporting our children to read on grade-level by the end of third grade is truly a community effort. We are engaging families, local businesses, non-profit organizations and community leaders in this endeavor,” said Krista Millard, Program Coordinator for Chatham Reads.

“Rowan County has a rich history of excellence and perseverance, and our community is working together to ensure our children have a strong foundation for learning. Because the future growth and productivity of our local economy depends upon the success of our children, our number one priority is to engage parents and to help prepare our children to read on grade level by the end of third grade,” said Leah Ann Honeycutt, Program Coordinator for Ready, Set, Read…ROWAN!

Download the press release here.