United Way of Central Florida Target Issues and Indicators Focus on Crystal Lake Elementary, a Community Partnership School EDUCATION (Age) Birth – 5: Problem #1: 75% of the children entering Crystal Lake Elementary, a Community Partnership School do not “consistently demonstrate” the skills they need to succeed in kindergarten. Background 1. Children who start behind, stay behind. Helping young children enter school ready to read is the most effective and efficient way to improve academic success and, ultimately, high school graduation rates. 2. Reading interactively with children is the most efficient and effective way to increase vocabulary and comprehension. 3. Research shows that improving the vocabulary of young children improves their ability to learn to read, improves social emotional development, reduces aggressive behaviors, improves the ability to problem solve, follow directions and to ask for needs to be met. 4. In words heard, the average child on welfare has half as much experience per hour (616 words per hour) as the average working-class child (1,251 words per hour) and less than one-third that of the average child in a professional family (2,153 words per hour)” (Hart & Risley 2003, 8) 5. Children learn to read until 3 rd grade and then read to learn for the rest of their lives. Children who are not reading at grade level by 3 rd grade, fall further and further behind each year and are less likely to graduate from high school, attend college or find meaningful employment. 6. “Summer Back Slide” affects children from low-income families while children from high-income families continue to improve skills over summer months. Even low-income students who were reading at grade level at the end of kindergarten experience an incremental loss of skill every summer. These children can be a whole grade level (or more) behind their middle-income peers by the time they enter 5 th grade. 7. At-risk students who received weekly tutoring, homework assistance and/or mentoring from a trusted adult attended school more often, improved report card grades in reading/math/science and were promoted at a higher rate than children in a statistically significant control group who did not receive these services.