Read to Succeed
In 2011, 99% of children participating in Read to Succeed, a United Way early literacy initiative, have the necessary skills to succeed in kindergarten. Why is this so important?
- Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 - 4 times more likely to drop out in later years
- 85% of all juveniles who interface with the court system are functionally illiterate
- 90% of welfare recipients are high school dropouts
By teaching these at-risk children early literacy skills they otherwise wouldn’t have, they have a greater chance to succeed in school and a lesser chance of getting into trouble. The Read to Succeed program currently reaches 1,200 children a year. Every $1 invested returns $17 into the community over the long term. This long term savings is seen as the children grow into adulthood and results in reduced criminal justice costs, higher taxes paid, and reduced health care.
In 2004, when Read to Succeed was expanded to the nine pre-school programs, the percentage of five-year-olds ready for school was 33%. At the end of the 2010-2011 school year, that percentage more than tripled to 99%. Read to Succeed helps children develop and master critical pre-reading skills such as:
- Oral language (vocabulary)
- Phonological awareness (beginning sounds, rhyming, sound-letter correlations)
- Print awareness (parts of a book, reading left to right, top to bottom, etc.)
- Alphabet knowledge (at least 10 letters of the alphabet prior to kindergarten)
Studies have shown that if a child is ready to learn to read by the time he enters kindergarten he is more likely to be reading at, or above, grade level in the third grade. This is a critical academic milestone, because at this point children are no longer simply learning to read, they are reading to learn.
Sites currently offering Read to Succeed:
- Bethlehem Centers of Nashville (2 locations)
- Eighteenth Avenue Family Enrichment Center
- Fannie Battle Day Home for Children
- First Steps, Inc.
- Grace M. Eaton Childcare Center
- King’s Daughters Child Development Center
- Martha O’Bryan Center
- McNeilly Center for Children
- St. Luke’s Community Center
- St. Mary Villa
- Wayne Reed Christian Childcare Center