WHAT WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT
The Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (AR-GLR) partnered with Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) and the Arkansas Association for Infant Mental Health (AAIMH) to win a nine-month planning grant of $100,000 to develop, build support for, and implement a prenatal-to-age-three policy agenda. Of the 42 states to apply, Arkansas was one of 11 to receive the grant.
WHY THIS EXCITES US
The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation is committed to AR-GLR’s goal that every Arkansas student will read at grade level by third grade. That starts with supporting families before children are even born. That kind of commitment takes a broad range of organizations working together to achieve a common goal. AR-GLR collaborates with lead partners ACH and AAIMH, more than 20 other statewide entities, and communities across the state to provide children and families the resources they need to achieve our ambitious goal.
WHAT WE KNOW
Less than 40 percent of Arkansas’s third graders met the reading readiness benchmark on the ACT Aspire in the 2016 - 2017 school year. Just 22 percent of African American third graders and 29 percent of Hispanic third graders met the benchmark, compared to 42 percent of white students.
Arkansas students face barriers to success well before kindergarten. Universal third-grade reading proficiency requires that educators and health care providers collaborate with families and communities to ensure all kids in Arkansas have access to the resources and tools they need to thrive.
We applaud AR-GLR partners for their relentless pursuit of a better system for Arkansas’s littlest learners.