New Tool to Drive Action Improving Literacy of N.C. Children

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Lindsay K. Saunders
NC Early Childhood Foundation
(919) 895-3290 x 701 

New Tool to Drive Action Improving Literacy of  N.C. Children 

Introducing the Pathways Action Map: Starting with Social-Emotional Health

Raleigh, NC—A new resource called the Pathways Action Map was released today by the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF), as part of the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading (Pathways) initiative, to help advance a shared vision where all North Carolina children are reading on grade-level by the end of third grade and have the greatest opportunity for success.

“Pathways is about imagining what’s possible when we work together towards a bold vision for children,” said NCECF Executive Director Muffy Grant. “The Action Map is a tool to help get us there.”

The Pathways Action Map aims to spotlight what’s happening across the state in 44 actions that can help move the needle on third grade reading proficiency using a whole child, birth-to-age-eight approach to literacy. The actions were prioritized using a collaborative process, including input from families, communities, research, and cross-sector early childhood leaders.

Pathways is committed to leading with racial equity. The actions call attention to strategies that specifically work to improve outcomes for children of color and gives special consideration to the wisdom and innovation of people of color. The Action Map explores how N.C. initiatives use a racial equity lens and center family and community voices. 

The Action Map is intended to be used by policymakers, funders, advocates, and community leaders to learn about what’s happening in N.C.; to impact the actions, including gaps and opportunities; and to help build capacity. The Map also promotes collaboration by engaging and connecting leaders and communities that are working towards similar goals.

“We’re excited to share the first edition of the Pathways Action Map,” said Mary Mathew, NCECF’s Collaboration and Policy Leader. “There’s nothing really out there like it. It has the potential to help lift up innovators across the state, especially community-led initiatives, and expand their work.”  

The Action Map is organized by four expectations for N.C. systems serving young children and families. The first release focuses on Expectation 4: N.C.’s social-emotional health system is accessible and high-quality. Users can interact with the Map to learn more about initiatives impacting this area, with 18 currently posted. 

Each initiative page includes highlights about their work, such as the counties they are working in, ways they are using a racial equity lens, and examples of impact. NCECF plans to release other Expectation areas in upcoming months.

Mathew added, “After seeing the Map, we hope state and community leaders will be inspired to add their initiatives, and share it with others, so we can better understand where innovation is happening – and not happening – in North Carolina, and help drive further action for children.”

Learn more about the Pathways Action Map and how to add initiatives online. Register for a quick, guided tour of the Action Map on May 10 at 3:00 p.m.

NCECF works to ensure every N.C. child has a strong foundation for life-long health, education, and well-being supported by a comprehensive, equitable birth-to-eight ecosystem.