Paterson Reads, a community collaboration of the Paterson Alliance, with the Paterson Education Fund as convener, supports Superintendent Eileen Shafers’ call for improved student achievement. Focused specifically on reading on grade level by 3rd grade, Paterson Reads aligns community resources to improve summer learning, increase early learning and improve attendance by reducing chronic absenteeism.
Improving Summer Learning
Paterson Reads partners with the Paterson Public Library summer reading program, reaching countless Paterson children with books, reading circles and literacy activities. Over 20 agencies are involved in providing enhanced reading opportunities using the national Collaborative Summer Library Program. This summer’s (2019) theme is “A Universe of Stories”. Next summer’s slogan will be “Imagine Your Story”.
Increasing Early Learning
Endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Reach Out and Read” has one of the strongest records of research support of any primary care intervention. Studies show that parents that get books and literacy counseling from their doctors and nurses are more likely to read to their young children, read to them more often, and provide more books in the home. Low-income children exposed to Reach Out and Read show improvements in language development, a critical component of school readiness.
Paterson Reads worked with the Paterson Public Schools to implement Breakfast After the Bell to help increase on-time attendance. The District is still working on implementing this program into every school. Paterson Reads members also serve on the Paterson Public Schools’ Attendance Committee to improve student and staff attendance across the district.
PEF has entered into an agreement with Attendance Works to help develop and pilot a Preschool Attendance Toolkit to improve attendance for preschool-aged children. PEF led focus groups for parents who currently have children in Paterson preschools and gathered information about what kind of barriers parents encounter that make regular attendance an issue. These conversations will ensure that the preschool toolkit is tailored to meet the specific needs of Paterson parents.
More about Paterson Reads
Paterson Reads is one of 160+ communities from 41 states representing 350 school districts of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading working to get more kids reading well by the end of third grade. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship. The Campaign focuses on the most important predictor of school success and high school graduation—grade-level reading by the end of third grade.
Research shows that proficiency in reading by the end of third grade enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn and to master the more complex subject matter they encounter in the fourth-grade curriculum. Most students who fail to reach this critical milestone falter in the later grades and often drop out before earning a high school diploma. Yet two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders are not proficient readers, according to national reading assessment data. This disturbing statistic is made even worse by the fact that more than four out of every five low-income students miss this critical milestone.
Although schools must be accountable for helping all children achieve, providing effective teaching for all children in every classroom every day, the Campaign is based on the belief that schools cannot succeed alone. Engaged communities mobilized to remove barriers, expand opportunities, and assist parents in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities to serve as full partners in the success of their children are needed to assure student success.
Paterson Education Fund stimulates community action for change so that the Paterson Public Schools ensure that all children reach high standards. For over 35 years, PEF has helped educate Paterson community leaders at all levels about the educational needs of Paterson children. Through forums, workshops, partnerships and direct programming, PEF provides access to information and training. As convenor of Paterson Reads, PEF continues to provide leadership to improve literacy in Paterson.
The Paterson Alliance’s mission is to advance the quality of life in the City of Paterson through the creation of community partnerships and collaborations. With more than 70 not-for-profit members spanning the gamut of community services, the Paterson Alliance builds a more vibrant Paterson.
For more information, contact:
Paterson Education Fund, Rosie Grant, Executive Director, 973-881-8914, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paterson Alliance, Inge Spungen, Executive Director, 973-985-6363, email@example.com
Paterson Public Library, Corey Fleming, Director, 973-321-1216, firstname.lastname@example.org