There is strong evidence that increasing the general knowledge and vocabulary of a child before age 6 is is a key determinant of success later in life. This is why United Way of Greater Topeka invests in early education for children age zero to five.
We are also part of the nationwide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading which focuses on grade-level reading by the end of third grade. Children who reach third grade without adequate reading skills are unlikely to graduate on time.
Here are some of the reasons children struggle with reading and what we’re doing about them:
The Readiness Gap: Too many children from low-income families begin school already far behind.
- United Way and its partners are providing high-quality preschool programming home visitation programs focusing on pre-literacy, and small group tutoring focused on reducing the achievement gap in reading and math.
The Attendance Gap: Too many children from low-income families miss too many days of school.
- Our truancy reduction programming, mentoring and case management services are helping improve attendance and students’ academic performance.
The Summer Slide: Too many children from low-income families lose too much ground over the summer months.
- We’re helping provide summer enrichment programming for students in grades K – 5 to increase vocabulary words, recreational reading, new experiences, levels of confidence, competence and caring.