We are disturbed by the knowing-doing gap that exists where families across all socio-economic levels report they understand the importance of reading at home, but also report that they don't find time to read consistently with their children. We know that reading practice is a game changer
The recent Kids and Family Reading Report from Scholastic indicates only 46% of families are aware of the summer reading slide. The summer reading slide has consistently been proven through countless studies to have one of the most profound negative effects on students from poverty who live in book deserts all summer long.
We are requesting a Rotary grant to fund a book fair in conjunction with Scholastic at a selected high poverty elementary school. The grant will allow students and families to select high-quality literature through the buy one, get one free Scholastic Book Fair program to address the summer reading slide and increase literacy. In addition, funds would be used to provide sets of books for classrooms.
The proposed school is Whittier Elementary School. At Whittier, 78.3% of the students are on the federal free or reduced lunch program. On the 2019 AzMERIT standardized test, Whittier third-graders achieved 25% proficiency in English language arts, as compared to the district and state average of 46%. The district wide goal is 90% proficiency by 2023.
Also, Whittier is focusing on inquiry-based instruction through literature and needs classroom libraries of culturally relevant books to achieve learning goals. The parent organization at Whittier is extremely involved and supportive of this initiative.
Data Snapshot: Kids Count, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, January 2014
National literacy statistics:
75% of students who are not proficient in reading by the end of third grade never catch up.
Third graders who struggle in reading are four times more likely to drop-out of high school.
Students who are least advantaged are most dependent on schools to provide reading skills.
Reading materials and expectations in fourth grade require reading proficiency.
There will be some reference books purchased as part of this project, to include some dictionaries that may be distributed by Mesa Rotary Members to select schools and students.
Addendum to Project Description (added after the project was signed)
Location - Mesa, AZ