February 22, 2017
New Name and Website!

We're pleased to share our new initiative name - Rhode Island Reads: The Campaign for 3rd Grade Reading , as well as our new website: www.rireads.org.

Led by United Way of Rhode Island and
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, the Campaign is working to: 
Please send any feedback on the website to Katy Chu at kchu@rikidscount.org .
Governor's Reading Goal

In September 2016, Governor Raimondo set the ambitious goal of doubling the number of Rhode Island third graders who are reading on grade level by 2025, when children born this year are in third grade. In 2015, 37% of Rhode Island third graders were reading on grade level.

Grade-Level Reading Aligned FY18 Budget Proposals

Governor Gina Raimondo recently released her  Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal, which includes several items that support her third grade reading goal:
  • State Pre-K: Includes a $1.1 million increase to the State Pre-K program for four-year-olds which, when combined with federal Preschool Expansion Grant funding, will enable Rhode Island to expand the State Pre-K program to serve over 1,000 children in 2017-2018. 
  • Head Start: Adds $390,000 to state-funded Head Start preschool slots for three- and four-year-olds to close the gap between federal and state funding levels per child. Funding will help Head Start programs attract and retain qualified, effective teaching staff and expand program hours to meet new federal requirements. 
  • High-Quality Child Care: Adds $1 million to support child care programs serving infants and toddlers that meet quality standards. 
  • English Language Learners: Continues providing $2.5 million as part of K-12 funding to support English Language Learners. Almost half of all English Language Learners in Rhode Island are in grades PK-3. 
  • Kindergarten Entry Profile: Provides $200,000 in funding to support implementation of the Kindergarten Entry Profile (KEP) to inform educational interventions by schools, further guide early childhood education policy, and leverage Rhode Island's investments in early learning.
To learn more about FY 2018 Budget items that will affect the well-being of Rhode Island's children and families, please see Rhode Island KIDS COUNT's FY 2018 Budget Proposal Analysis.
Talk, Read, and Sing to Children Every Day

Children begin learning as soon as they are born! Research shows that talking, reading, and singing with your child every day from birth helps build their brains as well as important language, math, reading, and social skills for use in school and beyond. 

Here are a few resources and programs that are doing great work to promote talking, reading, and singing with children every day!
  • Talking is Teaching has developed a helpful  tip sheet and video  for parents and families.
  • Providence Talks is a free program that is helping families in Providence talk more with young children, unlocking the teaching power of parents. 
  • Reach Out and Read Rhode Island works to incorporate books into pediatric care and encourages families to read aloud together. There are 65 Reach Out and Read pediatric practices in the state where young children get a brand-new book at each check up and families receive tips on how to read aloud to children beginning at birth.
Reading Across Rhode Island

Did you know that when children see their parents and other adults around them reading, they spend more time reading themselves and are more likely to report that they enjoy reading?  

The Rhode Island Center for the Book has announced the 2017 Reading Across Rhode Island Book of the Year - Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. The goal is to get everyone in the state to read this book and share in community conversations.  Just Mercy is a great book for adults and teenagers to read, and young children benefit when they are surrounded by a community of readers.