The correlation between students’ failure to read by the end of the 2nd grade and involvement in the criminal justice system is undeniable. Students who are unable to read by the end of the third grade are also four to six times less likely to graduate high school. High school drop-outs are 63% more likely to be incarcerated than college graduates and 85% of all youths who interface with the juvenile courts have been found to be functionally illiterate (Northeastern University, 2009). Ultimately, the school to prison pipeline and mass incarceration devastate lives and cost the government over $182 billion every year (Wagner & Rabuy, 2017).
All students reading by the third grade on a national level would save billions of dollars, disrupt the school to prison pipeline and enable us to prepare students to succeed in a global economy. Ultimately, it is a moral imperative that all students have equitable opportunity to pursue their aspirations in an increasingly complex world.
Nyack Schools launching an initiative to raise student achievement and early childhood literacy (K-2) to have all students reading by the end of the 2nd grade. We envision five components to this initiative:
- From Birth to Two Years: "The Nyack Basics"
- Three and Four Years of Age
- First and Second Grade
- Summer Support and Mobile Libraries
This District-lead, community-wide initiative seeks collaborative partners with the business, civic and faith communities, pre-schools, libraries, community centers, elected officials as this initiative is being developed during the 2017-18 school year. Please contact Dr. Winsome Gregory, Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction/Personnel at Nyack Public Schools, for more information or to find out how you can be involved: (845) 353-7052.