We are excited to announce that the North Carolina Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Initiative has a logo! The logo incorporates a lightbulb to show that the Pathways initiative is all about generating bold new ideas and powerful strategies for change. Children’s brains are turned on to early learning when they are healthy and developing on track, live in supported and supportive families and communities, and have access to high quality early education environments.
Pathways also has developed a lightbulb icon that can be used when a smaller image is needed.
What is the Pathways Initiative?
The NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative is building on North Carolina’s history of innovation and success to tackle one of the greatest challenges facing the state: the overwhelming majority of our children, especially those from low-income families, are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade. Reading well in the early grades predicts a child’s academic and career success.
Driving the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative is the foundational belief that together we can realize greater outcomes for young children than any of us can produce on our own. To that end, 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. Pathways is a project of the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) in partnership with NC Child, NC Partnership for Children and Excellence (BEST NC).
Why Focus on Third Grade Reading?
The Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Initiative focuses on early literacy because reading in the early grades predicts high school and later success. Those who read well go on to graduate, but those who aren’t reading well by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. 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.
Third grade reading proficiency is achievable with policies and practices that reflect the science—reading is a cumulative process that develops from birth and is rooted in early brain development. Research shows that improving third grade reading takes a coordinated birth-through-age-eight approach that focuses on children’s health and development, supported and supportive families and communities, and high quality learning environments with regular attendance.
What Improves Children’s Early Literacy Outcomes?
A foundational report, Shared Measures of Success to Put North Carolina Children on a Pathway to Grade-Level Reading, outlines the research basis behind the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Measures of Success Framework. The Framework includes nearly 60 measures that research tells us move the needle on third grade reading.
Are YOU a Pathways Partner?
Download the Pathways Partnership Guide to learn what it means to be a Pathways Partner, and complete this survey to join a network of diverse early learning and education, public agency, policy, philanthropic and business leaders working across disciplines, sectors and systems to achieve a bold vision:
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.
Click here for an initial list of Pathways Partners.