Focus Areas

Nationally, 74% of students who fail to read proficiently by the end of third grade falter in the later grades and often drop out before earning a high school diploma. We believe communities can be the driving force of change in reducing the impact of these barriers!

The Readiness Gap

Too many children from low-income families begin school already behind. In their first four years of life, “an average child in a professional family would accumulate experience with almost 45 million words; an average child in a working-class family 26 million words, and an average child in a welfare family 13 million words” (Hart & Risley, 2003).

In Mississippi, 2 of out every 3 students enter Kindergarten lacking prerequisite skills, such as beginning to understand printed text has meaning, recognizing some letters, numbers, colors, and shapes.

The Attendance Gap

Too many children from low-income families miss too many days of school. Almost 74,000 children (K-12) in Mississippi are chronically absent from school, meaning they miss more than 10% of the school year (18 days). This is valuable instructional time of foundational skills that children miss.

The Summer Slide

Too many children from low-income families have limited access to high-quality learning opportunities in the summer. Without access to enriching activities available to their more affluent peers, research shows these children lose as much as three months of comprehension skills over the summer. By fifth grade, these children are nearly three grade levels behind their peers.