A Message from Terry Bowman, Executive Director at ReadWorks:
At this pivotal moment for our country, we stand with educators, students, and families against racial inequity.
At ReadWorks, we are a community dedicated to helping all students become successful readers. The ability to read successfully by 4th grade can change an individual’s trajectory for life, lowering both the chance of falling into abject poverty and the risk of being imprisoned, as well as improving chances of graduation. Yet access to a strong reading education is one of the many structural inequities facing Black communities in our country. While only 35% of all 4th graders in the US can read at grade level, only 18% of African American 4th graders*, a devastatingly worse rate, are reaching that goal.
We believe that equitable access to education can transform communities and our nation. We can and we must do better to provide our Black students with the education they deserve.
Yet while we continue our work, education will not bring back the lives we’ve lost. In light of the ongoing acts of police brutality and violence against the Black community, including the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, our hearts go out to their families and loved ones, and we want to express that we stand in solidarity with peaceful protestors exercising their constitutional right to have their justified anger heard.
To the educators grappling with how to handle this moment of pain and trauma with your students, we have compiled a few free resources that may offer you guidance:
We are grateful for the trust so many educators have put in ReadWorks over the years, and we remain committed to doing all we can to help usher in a brighter future for all Americans. We look forward to continuing the conversation.
Executive Director, ReadWorks