You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

POINT OF VIEW Children’s Services Council on board with reading goal


Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa correctly said, “We have a lot of ground to cover” to have at least 75 percent of all third-graders reading on grade level in the next five years. (“Avossa sums up year’s successes, challenges for community leaders,” March 10) While that seems like a tall mountain to climb, reaching that goal will, indeed, bring Palm Beach County to higher ground.

Reading proficiently by the end of third grade is a key predictor of high school graduation. That’s because research shows that third grade is where our children shift from “learning to read” to “reading to learn,” so they’re ready to tackle more complex subjects in later grades. In turn, improved high school graduation rates, which are already climbing, will give more children access to college and skilled careers, bringing all of us more jobs and a thriving and safer community.

The challenge Avossa highlighted is that the current 52 percent of third-graders reading proficiently masks some very critical gaps. Only 28 percent of African-American males, for example, are at grade level, and 43 percent of Hispanic males. Girls fare a little better: 41 percent of African-American females and 49 percent of Hispanic females are at grade level.

At the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County (CSC), we trace third-grade reading back to early childhood. We’ve seen that third-graders are more likely to be at grade level when they are socially and emotionally ready to enter kindergarten. Our early childhood development programs help prepare children for school by addressing potential delays, supporting parents and caregivers at home, and encouraging families to actively engage with their children — by reading, singing, talking and playing – every day. In fact, we were honored with a Pacesetter Award in 2012 for our school readiness efforts by the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and are still active in the campaign.

But the challenges are daunting. Childhood trauma, community instability, cyclical poverty and stressful family dynamics can set back any child’s readiness for school.

We recognize, and reading scores show, the need for our community to do even more to help reach Avossa’s bold goal of broad-based reading success — for all our children. With the CSC’s continued work in early childhood development focused on healthy births and the most critical early years, and the School Board’s commitment to third-grade reading proficiency, we believe we’re on the right track.

LISA WILLIAMS-TAYLOR, WEST PALM BEACH

Editor’s note: Lisa Williams-Taylor is CEO of the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Will Russiagate backfire on the left?

The big losers of the Russian hacking scandal may yet be those who invested all their capital in a script that turned out to based on a fairy tale. In Monday’s Intelligence Committee hearings, James Comey did confirm that his FBI has found nothing to support President Trump’s tweet that President Obama ordered him wiretapped. Not unexpected...
COMMENTARY: Gorsuch’s convenient untruth about partisan judges

With a shrewdly calculated innocence, Judge Neil Gorsuch told a big fat lie at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday. Because it was a lie everyone expected, nobody called it that. “There’s no such thing as a Republican judge or a Democratic judge,” Gorsuch said. Gorsuch, the amiable veteran of many Republican campaigns, is well-placed...
Letters Prosecutor must follow the law

Prosecutor must follow the law Gov. Rick Scott removed a newly elected prosecutor, Aramis Ayala, from a murder case involving Markeith Loyd when she announced that she “would not pursue the death penalty in capital cases.” Loyd is alleged to be responsible for the killing of a police officer, Loyd’s pregnant girlfriend and Deputy...
POINT OF VIEW Guardians ad Litem provide vital voices for children

Children whose lives are impacted by abuse, neglect or abandonment need help to survive and succeed. What we do for our children today is a valuable investment for generations to come. Every day, Florida’s Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteers work diligently to represent the best interest of our state’s most fragile and vulnerable children...
Friedman: Calling on a few good men in the Trump administration

Memo To: Secretary of Defense James Mattis, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Dear Sirs, I am writing you today as the five adults with the most integrity in the Trump administration. Mattis, McMaster and Kelly, you all served our nation...
More Stories