Rhode Island READS is a partnership of Rhode Island agencies and educational institutions, including Smithfield Public Schools, that are focused on ensuring that children read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade. The group recently sponsored a summit to discuss efforts across the state to improve reading proficiency.
Research shows that children who do not read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to dropout of high school than their peers. The language gaps leading to low reading proficiency begin to develop at birth and widen over time without intervention.While RI 4th grade reading scores, measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is above the US average (39% vs 35%), we have far to go to have ALL children reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade.
At the summit, key levers to advance 3rd grade reading were shared: school readiness, reducing chronic absence, learning to read, and summer learning. Child Outreach screening (see next page) contributes towards our efforts to improve school readiness. The district has also been attending to chronic absence and the review of reading curriculum and instruction. Together, we can achieve this ambitious goal.