Literacy rate among elementary students outpace other states: Report

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Thursday, August 3, 2023
Literacy rate among elementary students outpace other states: Report
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New data finds that K-3 students in North Carolina are outpacing children in other states.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A new report shows that literacy among early elementary school students is making strong gains post-pandemic.

"Working with the school, I've seen where a lot of kids were struggling," said parent Ashley Bradley.

She's a school cafeteria worker and said she saw first-hand how learning from home during the COVID-19 crisis set some children back.

She also has a son in elementary school. He is going into third grade and was in kindergarten when the pandemic began. He missed time in the classroom and the opportunity to interact with other children.

Despite those hurdles, a newly released assessment report shows big improvements in literacy skills statewide among early elementary school students.

"Since COVID is gone, I've seen a lot of kids doing better," said Bradley.

The data finds that kindergarteners, first-, second- and third-graders in North Carolina are outpacing children in other states.

The largest increase was for kindergarteners, which more than doubled.

North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt credited a professional development program that teachers are now using.

"Not only are we seeing incredible gains for our kindergarten, first-, second- and third-graders in early literacy, we're also seeing the number of students who are at risk of needing intensive intervention decline," said Truitt.

She has goals for the upcoming school year.

"Really, what we need to do now is actualize these incredible gains and start seeing them on our third-grade, fourth-grade, and fifth-grade end-of-year assessments," said Truitt.

Marbles Museum is gearing up to prepare children for the first day of school.

The nonprofit is part of the local Wake Up and Read Literacy Coalition and is soon hosting its annual Kick-Off to Kindergarten Celebration.

"It's very, very exciting. I think our collective efforts to bolster student literacy -- this shows that they are successful," said Marbles Museum Chief Learning Officer Hardin Englehardt.