Ensuring all children in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro succeed in school and life.
Parents, teachers, donors, volunteers, nonprofits, companies and community members like you are all devoted to local students’ growth and well-being.
Raise Me to Read is part of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a national, collaborative effort by schools, government agencies, business leaders, nonprofit leaders and foundations to improve students’ reading proficiency by the end of third grade.
The Raise Me to Read Campaign focuses on three key areas that help children reach key reading milestones.
By eighteen months old, low-income children begin to fall behind in vocabulary development and other skills that determine school success. Parents, doctors and childcare providers play an important role in addressing this gap.
By providing early literacy resources and improving access to quality early-care environments, we can ensure children are ready for school and families are ready to support their children’s learning.
Beginning in early grades, the number of students missing 18 or more days of school each year can reach remarkably high levels, and these early absences deprive students of the time they need to develop literacy skills.
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 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.
Why is reading proficiency by the end of third grade so important?
Third grade is a pivotal point in a child’s educational journey.
From kindergarten through third grade, children learn to read. By fourth grade, they must be able to read to learn.
In fact, a child’s ability to read proficiently by the end of third grade is the strongest predictor of his or her school success. Children who aren’t reading on grade level by this point are four times more likely to dropout of school – six times more likely if they have lived in poverty for a year.
Currently, 45% of children in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro aren’t reading proficiently by the end of third grade. And because children have spent less time in the classroom since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, even more children are at risk of falling behind.
By focusing on early literacy, the Raise Me to Read campaign will help many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate feeling prepared for college and their careers.
“It has to be a lot of voices saying the same thing – being in school is important, helping children learn to read by the end of third grade is vital. We can’t do it in siloes, we have to work together.”
– Dr. Martha Bruckner, Executive Director of Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium (MOEC)