Back to School - Rhode Island Reads

Rhode Island Reads is working to increase the number of children who are reading on grade level by the end of third grade. As of 2017, 40% of third graders in Rhode Island were reading on grade level. There are large gaps between students from low and higher-income families and across racial and ethnic groups. 

New 2018 data on third grade reading will be released this fall and reviewed at the annual Rhode Island Reads Partner Meeting. Please hold Monday, December 10th, 9 a.m. to 12:00 noon for the Partner Meeting at Rhode Island College.

Rhode Island Reads is working to: 
  • Expand high-quality early learning opportunities for children from birth through kindergarten entry 
  • Reduce chronic absence in grades K through 3 
  • Increase summer learning opportunities for children in the early elementary grades 
  • Promote early language and literacy development, including increasing access to high-quality English Language Learning instruction
Policy Round Up

There were several policy wins during the 2018 RI General Assembly Session that advance Rhode Island Reads goals: 
  • Access to high-quality child care: Child care funding increased and tiered quality rates for the Child Care Assistance Program were established in statute to improve access to high-quality child care. Infant and toddler rates now meet the federal benchmark for access to quality child care. 
  • Access to State Pre-K: State Pre-K funding increased to provide high-quality early education for four-year-olds through the education funding formula.  
  • Kindergarten: New funding was allocated to provide training to kindergarten teachers implementing a high-quality, research-based curriculum where children learn through play. 
  • After School and Summer Learning: The House of Representatives established a new out-of-school time commission to improve access to high-quality after school and summer learning programs in the state.
Fact Sheet Release and Policy Roundtable: Focus on Reducing Chronic Early Absence

The Rhode Island Department of Education, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, and Rhode Island Reads: The Campaign for 3rd Grade Reading hosted a panel discussion on September 14, 2018 to underscore the importance of school attendance to student achievement. 

During the early elementary school years, children develop important academic and social-emotional skills and approaches to learning that are critical for school success. Students who are chronically absent from school during these early years miss opportunities to learn and develop positive relationships within the school community and are at risk of continued chronic absence and not reading proficiently by the end of third grade.

The event featured effective school strategies to reduce chronic early absence, as well as a data presentation and Fact Sheet release.  Please see Rhode Island KIDS COUNT's new Fact Sheet: Focus on Reducing Chronic Early Absence  and event pictures for more!
Books for Beginning Readers

It is exciting when children first begin to sound out words and to read books "by themselves." This often happens in kindergarten and first grade, but - like with many skills - each child is different. Parents can help support early readers by finding books that interest their kids at the right reading level, taking turns reading pages aloud at bedtime, talking and asking questions about books and stories, and providing opportunities to practice writing. Tips for parents of beginning readers are available here - English and Spanish.

There are lots of great books for beginning readers. Here are a few favorites to look for at the library! 
  • Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same by Grace Lin 
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss 
  • Huevos verdes con jamón by Dr. Seuss
  • Mac and Cheese by Sarah Weeks 
  • I like Bugs by Margaret Wise Brown 
  • Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana by James Dean 
  • Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant
Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors


You are invited to join the annual Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors

Saturday, October 13, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at The Lincoln School in Providence, RI.

The Festival has an exciting list of nationally acclaimed authors and illustrators. Each author and illustrator will give a 30-minute presentation on their work, life, and philosophy. You will have the chance to meet and talk with the authors and illustrators and have your books personally signed. The Festival has a great selection of books for you to purchase, including new releases. Between talks, you can participate in bookmaking crafts - perfect for the young and upcoming artist!
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