Do you know that children who do not read on grade level by the end of third grade are likely to drop out? As early as 9 years old, some kids are on a path to a life of poverty and hardship. But it doesn’t have to be that way! That is why Mayor Jones, Superintendent Dr. Evans and the Paterson Education Fund have issued a call to action, “Paterson Reads!”

We have research that shows that there are 3 key factors that influence reading success by third grade.

First is readiness for school, whether pre-k or kindergarten.   Readying a child for school is the work of a child’s first teacher, the parent or caregiver. How are we supporting parents and caregivers to help them do this important preparation? How can we increase the number of children in Paterson attending pre-school? Our data suggests that while over 3,000 children attend our free pre-k programs, over 500 children are missing out this great resource.

Second is actually attending school. Research also shows that children who have missed 10 days or more are also more likely to become drop outs. A shocking 10,000 children in the Paterson schools missed 10 days or more last year.

Finally, children who do not spend time learning in the summer actually lose knowledge. That loss can leave then 3 years behind by the time they reach 6th grade.

All three of these issues have solutions that sit outside of the schools. Our job now is to better understand what resources we have, better coordinate them and then look for the resources to bridge the gaps.

Are you ready to help? Let’s be sure that Paterson Reads!