When it comes to literacy and poverty, the facts are clear.
A student who can’t read on grade level by 3rd grade is four times less likely to graduate high school than a child who does read proficiently by that time.
Add poverty to the mix, and a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time than his or her proficient, wealthier peer.
However, should sufficient support be introduced to help students who have experienced poverty read on grade level by the end of third grade, 89 percent of students in poverty who did read on level by 3rd grade graduated on time.
This is statistically no different from the students who never experienced poverty but did struggle with reading early on.
What we learn from these numbers is that poverty does not determine who you are and what you can achieve. As every RBBB staff member will tell you, a third grader is a just an 8 year old.
With the right support, every student is capable of success.
The Challenges Facing Education
Our Arizona public schools have suffered since 2007 with $3bn has been taken out of K-12. We are experiencing a teacher shortage and even with the 2018 Red For Ed Walkout Rally, it came to light the bind that teachers are in: being asked to do more (and for more students) on diminishing budgets.
But as a community we must support education, as it is the great equalizer. Education can lift our children to new heights even if their current home environment is without advantage.
And that pivotal fork in the road for education is being able to read proficiently and with utmost comprehension. That’s why when you help a program like Read Better Be Better, you are taking the most direct step possible to untie our students from whatever socioeconomic background they come from.