TOPEKA – Nearly two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders are not proficient readers, according to a national reading assessment data.
Fortunately, The Kansas Reading Roadmap (KRR), an initiative focused on improving reading proficiency among Kansas grade school students, is actively working to combat the issue by providing an integrative framework to support Kansas schools and make sure that every child graduates on time and achieves his/her full potential.
This week, KRR held its annual “kick-off conference” in Wichita. The event began on Wednesday, Aug. 2 and concluded Aug. 3. The meeting consisted of representatives from all 60 KRR sites in Kansas.
The focus of this year’s conference was “Kansas Third Grade Assessments” and maximizing test scores. Some of the key speakers at the annual conference were Executive Director of Kansas Parent Information Resource Center Jane Groff, Boys & Girls Club President Dave Smith and Director of Grade-Level Reading Support Center Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Ron Fairchild.
KRR was commissioned by Governor Sam Brownback and is funded by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). KRR also works in partnership with the Kansas Department of Education (KDOE), 34 local schools and local partners.
Currently, KRR is working in 28 counties, including Allen, Barton, Bourbon, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Cloud, Crawford, Dickinson, Elk, Finney, Franklin, Greenwood, Harvey, Jefferson, Labette, Lyon, Marshall, Montgomery, Morris, Olathe, Osage, Pottawatomie, Reno, Riley, Sedgwick, Stevens, Sumner and Wyandotte.
Also, the KRR joined the campaign for Grade-Level Reading (GLR Campaign), a nationwide movement to promote early school success for children from low-income families. This national partnership will further KRR’s efforts to ensure Kansas children are receiving the best education possible.
“KRR is excited to be added to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s national network,” said Executive Director of KRR Andrew Hysell. “Funding from the Kansas Department for Children and Families has allowed us to create a powerful network of school-based programs that are now being recognized nationally.”
Launched in 2010, the GLR Campaign is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship.
Since its launch in 2013, KRR has continuously improved proficiency across the state. Now, membership in the GLR Communities Network will give KRR access to experts and policymakers focused on early literacy, assistance in addressing the challenges that keep many children from learning to read and opportunities to share and learn best practices.