"In the wake of the pandemic, we need an even more intensive, coordinated focus on early literacy across Arizona, with targeted strategies to help our largest subgroups of struggling readers."
So says Marianne Cracchiolo Mago, CEO of the Steele Foundation, one of four philanthropic partners that has donated $2.8 million over the next three years to Read On Arizona, the Arizona Republic reports.
The Read On Arizona initiative has been working to improve third-grade reading in the state since 2013, and the new funding will help it get back on track.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Arizona was making steady progress on third-grade reading, a strong predictor of high school graduation and college attendance.
But the pandemic created unprecedented disruptions in education, and Arizona's youngest students experienced significant learning disruptions.
As a result, only 35% of third-grade students passed the state's English Language Arts assessment in 2021, an 11-point drop since the pandemic began.
"We are grateful for the leadership of Read On Arizona and the other funding partners to help ensure that all students in Arizona read at grade level by third grade," says Paul J.Luna, president and CEO of Helios Education Foundation, one of the four philanthropic partners. Read the Entire Article
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One of the most significant challenges to social entrepreneurship and innovation is ensuring a diversity of approaches and participants in the movement. To truly deliver meaningful social change the leaders of the effort must share perspectives of the challenges faced by communities across the U.S. that can most appropriately come from members of those communities. Ashoka, through its All America initiative seeks to increase the diversity of social entrepreneurship practitioners.