Illiteracy Reaches Beyond the Book
When a child enters the 4th grade reading below grade level it sets them on the path of frustration and most likely failure. Statistics show that these children have a 78% chance of NOT catching up. When entering the 4th grade, children are no longer learning to read, they are reading to learn. Illiteracy then impacts all areas of learning, including math, science, and social studies.
Literacy and the Economy
A student who can't read on grade level by 3rd grade is 4 times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently in 3rd grade. Add poverty to the mix, and a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time than his or her proficient, wealthier peer. Every student that does not complete High school costs our society $290,000.00 loss in earnings, taxes, and productivity. Two thirds of children who do not read efficiently by the 4th grade will end up needing government assistance.
Illiteracy and Incarceration
Illiteracy and crime are closely related. The Department of Justice states, "The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure." Over 70% of inmates in America's prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level. 85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate.
Literacy Changes Everything
When Jasmine and her twin brother came in to be tested, Jasmine was repeating first grade. Tears trickled down her face once she got to the point in the test where she couldn't read most of the words. While she had a basic reading foundation, she didn't have the confidence to try new things. Her low scores reflected this.
Jasmine started Soar and was paired with a mentor who worked with her on reading while providing much needed reassurance and a safe place to gain confidence. Today, Jasmine is in 5th grade. She reads at an 8th grade reading level and is a confident student on the honor roll!
Donald J. Hernandez, Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation. The Annie E. Casey Foundation; Center for Demographic Analysis, University at Albany, State of New York; Foundation for Child Development, http://www.aecf.org/resources/reducing-the-high-school-dropout-rate/
The Literacy Company "Reading, Literacy & Education Statistics" http://www.readfaster.com/education_stats.asp Facts drawn from: US Department of Education, US Department of Health and Human Services, United Way, National Adult Literacy Survey NECS.