It’s a fact: when children are able to read on level by third grade, they are much more likely to succeed in school and in life. However, only one in three third-graders in the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) are able to read at grade level, which has a dramatic effect on Fort Worth’s educational pipeline and future talent pool.
A groundbreaking, collective effort called Read Fort Worth is tackling this challenge head-on with a big goal: 100% of third-graders reading on grade level by 2025. The City of Fort Worth, the FWISD, Read Fort Worth and dozens of local nonprofit organizations and businesses are partnering to make it happen.
In 2016, North Texas Community Foundation established an Agency Fund to accept donations to support the effort from private foundations, corporations and the general public. An expert advisory committee – including Matthew Rose, Mayor Betsy Price and Dr. Kent Scribner, among others – helps distribute the funds to greatest effect.
On Monday, May 21st, Community Foundation staff and other community partners joined Read Fort Worth at Sunrise-McMillan Elementary School to distribute 1,200 books to pre-K, kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms. Sunrise-McMillan Elementary School has a reading proficiency level of 17%, so these resources are sorely needed.
Read Fort Worth has raised more than $91,000 toward their first-year goal of $250,000 needed to place 100 high-interest, culturally-relevant books in Fort Worth ISD Pre-K through second grade classrooms, starting with elementary schools most in need. Community Foundation fundholders contributed $85,000 to the Classroom Library Campaign in 2018. More campus deliveries are being scheduled for August.
Learn more about the Classroom Library Campaign led by Read Fort Worth or get involved at http://readfortworth.org/classroom-library-campaign/.
By working together, the Fort Worth community has the opportunity to make change that will impact the city’s growth and quality of life for decades to come.