With United Way of the Midlands’ continued support, Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium and Family Inc. of Council Bluffs lead Raise Me to Read – the local Campaign for Grade Level Reading. These organizations bring together partners across the community to ensure students are reading on grade level, particularly by the end of third grade.

Children who aren’t reading on grade level by the third-grade point are four times more likely to drop out of school – six times more likely if they have lived in poverty for a year.

Through its focus on early literacy, Raise Me To Read helps children birth to age 8 succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship.

Read about the goals and vision of the effort here Community Solutions Action Plan.

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UWM was instrumental in launching the campaign in Nebraska by aligning resources and existing efforts to address key challenges that can keep our young children, especially those living in poverty, from learning to read proficiently.

More than 350 communities have now joined the Campaign for Grade Level Reading — a national, collaborative effort by schools, communities, government agencies, business leaders, nonprofit leaders and foundations to increase early reading proficiency.

The campaign focuses on three key elements to foster success.

School Readiness

Research shows that learning begins long before a child enters kindergarten. By providing early literacy resources and improving access to quality early-care environments, the Campaign ensures children are ready for school and families are ready to support their children’s learning.

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School Attendance

Elementary school children who are chronically absent are more likely to repeat a grade and struggle with grade-level reading. By monitoring attendance data, addressing attendance barriers and developing attendance plans with parents and caregivers, we can reduce absenteeism and keep children on track to succeed.

Summer Learning

Summer learning loss, or “summer slide,” can occur when children do not have access to out-of-school learning programs, age-appropriate books at home or transportation to a library. The cumulative effect can leave low-income students two-and-a-half to three years behind their peers. By providing quality out-of-school opportunities and facilitating activities that reduce summer learning loss, we can help students maintain their progress toward third grade reading proficiency.

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For more information about Raise Me to Read, visit RAISEMETOREAD.ORG