The YLC is raising awareness about the importance of grade-level reading proficiency by running a book drive through June 14 to benefit STEPS’ families. They’re encouraging summer reading and family involvement for children from low-income families in the South Bronx. To see the books, click here.
In New York City, approximately 39% of students who enter ninth grade each fall fail to graduate with their peers four years later. At the same time, many children from underserved neighborhoods cannot read proficiently by third grade despite having made great strides in quality early education programs like Head Start.
The two are connected in more ways than one. Ample evidence suggests that students who can't read by third grade are far more likely to drop out of high school. Additionally, these two groups share a common problem--they're not being adequately supported during critical transitions in their education. Many students get to ninth grade only to find that they aren't prepared for high school-level work. They fall behind, stop going to class, and then eventually drop out. Children in pre-school make the move to elementary school and struggle in their new environment, in part because the early education system and the public school system use significantly different teaching and family engagement strategies.
United Way of New York City is working to address these issues with three distinct initiatives: