What would be possible if…
- We adopted shared, whole child, birth-to-age-eight measures that put children on a pathway to grade-level reading?
- We coordinated strategies to support children’s optimal development beginning at birth?
- We aligned policies and practices that were rooted in how children develop?
The Pathways to Grade-Level Reading (Pathways) initiative is all about possibility. This collaborative of diverse leaders is building on North Carolina’s history of innovation and success to reach for 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.
Reading well in the early grades predicts a child’s academic and career success. Research shows that improving third grade reading takes a coordinated birth-through-age-eight approach with aligned policies and practices that focuses on:
- Children’s Health and Development, Beginning at Birth
- Supported and Supportive Families and Communities
- High-Quality Birth-through-Age-Eight Learning Environments, with Regular Attendance
Driving the Pathways initiative is the foundational belief that together we can realize greater outcomes for young children than any of us can produce on our own. Pathways Partners work across disciplines, sectors, systems, and the political aisle. Pathways is an initiative of the NC Early Childhood Foundation in collaboration with NC Child, The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., and BEST NC.
- State leaders identified shared birth-to-age-eight, whole-child measures of success to put children on a pathway to grade-level reading.
- 95% of stakeholder respondents said they “felt confident that if the state made progress on these measures, we would improve third grade reading outcomes.”
- The NC General Assembly highlighted Pathways in the 2016 and 2017 budgets when it passed and updated provisions calling for greater birth-to-age-eight coordination across agencies and organizations, “including consideration of the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading.”
- Collaborative partner organizations have incorporated the Pathways measures into their own data tracking and reporting.
- Local communities across the state are using the Pathways Measures of Success Framework for collaborative community planning—identifying which of the Pathways shared measures to focus on locally and developing strategies for action to improve child and family outcomes.
- The Measures of Success Framework has been shared nationally and is being used by communities in other states as well who are focused on improving outcomes for young children.
- SAS, a national leader in analytics located in Cary, NC, is creating, pro-bono, an online, interactive data dashboard to make the disaggregated NC data for the Pathways measures widely available and accessible across the state for organizations, initiatives and communities working on improving outcomes for young children.
What Should We Measure?
In Phase I of Pathways, a Data Action Team identified shared birth-through-age-eight, whole child measures that research has demonstrated can move the needle on third grade reading proficiency to create the Measures of Success Framework.
Where Should We Focus?
In Phase II, Learning Teams looked at the NC data around those measures and, based on overall need and equity considerations, recommended a set of measures to move to action on first.
What Should We Do?
In Phase III of Pathways, Design Teams are co-creating the Pathways Action Framework to help North Carolina align around policy, practice and capacity-building strategies that will shift the prioritized measures of success, particularly for children of color.
Join our network of early learning and education, public agency, policy, philanthropic and business leaders working across disciplines, sectors and systems. Download our Partnership Guide to join the more than 200 organizations and individuals that are Pathways Partners.
- Ashe County Partnership for Children
- BEST NC
- The Belk Foundation
- Beth Meyer Preschool
- Book Harvest
- Buncombe Partnership for Children
- The Cemala Foundation
- Child Care Services Association
- ChildTrust Foundation
- Chowan/Perquimans SmartStart Partnership
- Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
- Down East Partnership for Children
- The Duke Endowment
- Exchange Family Center
- FPG Child Development Institute
- Guilford Child Development
- Helps Education Fund
- Infant Mental Health Association
- Institute for Emerging Issues
- Iredell County Partnership for Young Children
- Marbles Kids Museum
- MDC, Great Expectation Initiative of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
- Motheread, Inc.
- Nash Rocky Mount Public Schools
- National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
- NC Alliance of YMCAs
- NC Child
- NC Council of Community Programs/Child First
- NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child Development and Early Education
- NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, Essential for Childhood
- NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program
- NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, Early Intervention Branch
- NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health
- NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, Children and Youth Branch
- NC Department of Health and Human Services, NC Division of Social Services
- NC Department of Public Instruction
- NC Department of Public Instruction, K-3 Literacy/Read to Achieve
- NC Department of Public Instruction, Office of Early Learning, Head Start State Collaboration Office
- NC Early Childhood Foundation
- NC Early Learning Network
- NC Partnership for Children
- NC Pediatric Society
- North Carolina Child Treatment Program
- NSO Associates
- Onslow County Partnership for Children
- Parents as Teachers Guilford County
- Partnership for Children of Cumberland County
- Partnership for Children of Johnston County
- Project Enlightenment Foundation
- Project Impact, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
- Reach Out and Read
- Read Wayne – Wayne County Library
- Read WS
- Ready for School, Ready for Life
- Skeebo Foundation
- Smart Start of Forsyth County
- Smart Start of Hanover County
- Smart Start of Mecklenburg County
- Triangle Community Foundation
- United Way of North Carolina
- United Way of the Greater Triangle
- Wake County Public Libraries
- Wake County SmartStart
- WAKE Up and Read
- Western NC Conference UMA
- Winer Family Foundation
- The Winston-Salem Foundation
And many more. View a list of Pathways Partners.
This 11-minute webinar provides an overview of the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative.
Research Basis for Pathways Measures of Success Framework
This resource provides data definitions of the Measures of Success and shares the research for each measure, demonstrating the connections between the measures and third-grade reading proficiency. A list of sources is included for each group of measures.
Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Initiative: What Do We Know?
This chart highlights what data is available in North Carolina on the Pathways measures and what data is not. Many key measures for young children on the pathway to early literacy are not collected and/or analyzed and made available to the public. Part of the Pathways mission is to improve the collection and sharing of these critical measures of success.
What Works for Third Grade Reading
These papers detail why each of 12 Pathways measures matters for third-grade reading, show their connections to other Pathways measures, define relevant terms and offer national research-based options that can impact the measures, including policies, practices, and programs and capacities.