We believe in investing in children by creating access to equitable opportunities for them so they can reach their full potential and achieve their dreams. That is why we support organizations like The Literacy Lab.
They believe literacy is a human right. It is foundational for setting children on the path to educational and career success. But unfortunately, many children aren’t given the time and resources to build upon their reading skills.
In fact, according to The Literacy Lab, more than 80% of economically disadvantaged children in Virginia fail to reach a basic level of reading proficiency.
This statistic is exacerbated because of the current pandemic as schools have transitioned to virtual learning. According to the Pew Research Center, roughly one out of every three students living in low-income households doesn’t have access to high-speed internet. This serves as yet another barrier for these students as they attempt to build their literary skills.
In response, for the 2020-2021 school year, The Literacy Lab has trained its fellows and tutors to pivot and support their students and schools as necessary. They’re prepared to continue teaching in-person, virtually, or both.
The organization provides individualized reading instruction for children to improve their literacy skills to set them up for greater academic success. It serves children in pre-K through the third grade using whole class, small group, and one-on-one intervention. It also supports early literacy programs for families experiencing homelessness.
Since its inception in 2009:
- By the end of pre-K, 91% of its pre-K students are ready to read at a kindergarten-level
- Nearly 90% of its school partners have said The Literacy Lab has positively impacted their literacy levels
- Its full-time tutors have fidelity rates of more than 95% on assessments and more than 90% on their intervention sessions
For the 2019-20 school year alone, The Literacy Lab’s 340 full-time tutors have impacted more than 6,300 students at 142 schools within the six states it serves.
The students are seeing the fruits of their learning. “When I go home and read a book, my dad says, ‘You’re doing excellent — how did you start reading like this?’” one student said.
Because of their success, The Literacy Lab was selected as a national replication partner for the Reading Corps — a national leader in literacy and academic support.
In support of the organization’s work, it’s Leading Men Fellowship initiative recruits recent male high school graduates of color to participate in a year-long, residency-style experience in which they provide evidence-based literacy support to pre-kindergarten students while receiving robust coaching and professional development. The purpose of this program is to create opportunities for young men of color to diversify the teacher pipeline.
Black teachers — specifically Black male teachers — are an anomaly. But their impact cannot be overstated.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, Black students who had one Black teacher by the third grade were 13% more likely to enroll in college — those who had two black teachers were 32% more likely.
Their hope with the fellowship program is by growing the amount of Black and teachers of color in the teacher pipeline, more students are empowered to pursue higher education and greater success in their professional careers.
We are a proud partner of The Literacy Lab because they value education as we do.
Education is key to equipping children to lead successful lives. “One of the most important things we can do in a well-functioning and compassionate society is to invest in children,” said Tom Dillon, co-CEO of The Literacy Lab.
To learn more about the amazing work The Literacy Lab is doing, visit theliteracylab.org/.