Nearly a quarter of Cleveland residents do not have a high school diploma. Testing shows that 80% of the city's kindergarteners are not ready for school, and a majority of third graders in Cleveland schools may not pass into the next grade because of Ohio's new Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
This crisis may sound overwhelming, but it is not an unbeatable foe. It's time to take action. Please read over The Literacy Cooperative's Top 10 List (at right) and learn about ways that you can help us win this fight against illiteracy.
From the moment the first school bell rings, many Cleveland-area children are already behind their peers. According to the KRA-L kindergarten readiness test, about 82% of Cleveland kindergarteners and 85% of those in East Cleveland are not ready for school, and this gap only continues to widen as the years progress. Ohio’s newly enacted Third Grade Reading Guarantee will likely have a stunning impact on third-graders in the Cleveland and East Cleveland school districts – the majority of them may not be passed into the next grade.
The Campaign for Grade Level Reading provides an answer to this crisis. In Cleveland, The Literacy Cooperative is implementing this campaign which focuses on three main areas; school readiness, absenteeism and summer learning loss. All of these components work together to ensure that a child starts school ready and continues to succeed. To learn more about the campaign and what you can do, watch this video or visit the website.
Adults in our country are facing a literacy crisis too. In 2013, an international survey called the PIAAC (Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies) showed that 1 in 6 U.S. adults have low literacy skills while 1 in 3 have low numeracy skills. In Cleveland, 23.3% of individuals 25 and over do not have a high school diploma. These are troubling numbers, considering that it is projected that by 2018, 67% of Ohio jobs will require some type of post-secondary degree.
Low literacy skills can affect poverty levels and limit a person’s ability to rise above the poverty line. In this video, Emily Campbell of the Center for Community Solutions explains the connection between low literacy rates and poverty:
by becoming a tutor, encouraging a friend or family member to get their GED or by just spreading the word. Choose an item from our Top 10 list, and let’s get cracking! Let’s make our city known for its literacy activism this summer.