Kansas Literacy Week Proclaimed by Governor

August 21, 2017

Elementary students who reach grade-level reading proficiency by the end of third grade are four times more likely to graduate high school. Currently, one-third of fourth graders both across the state of Kansas and nation read below basic reading levels, according to The Nations Report Card, National Center for Educational Statistics.

On Friday, Aug. 18, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback declared the week of Sept. 3 through 9 Kansas Literacy Week as a result of efforts put forth by the Kansas Masonic Literacy Center and Emporia State University. Kansas Literacy Week coincides with Library Card Sign-up Month, National Read a Book Day (Sept. 6), and International Literacy Day (Sept. 8). 

“Dedicating a week to literacy reinforces the importance of this serious topic and highlights the good work of many who are dedicated to improving literacy in our schools and state,” said Dr. Dennis Kear, executive director of KMLC.

Literacy, foundational to the personal success of all individuals, is a natural extension of the Kansas Masons and Emporia State University, two organizations committed to the betterment of the communities in which we live.

The KMLC, which is housed on the ESU campus, is dedicated to providing valuable resources and funding to schools, families and communities, and research for the betterment of literacy development. For example, a video showing parents how to engage their children while reading together can be found on KMLC’s website, www.emporia.edu/literacy.

KMLC collaborates with libraries, hospitals, the Dollywood Foundation and other literacy-focused organizations to provide resources and drive awareness. Additionally, KMLC supports the Kansas Reading Roadmap, Brownback’s initiative to focus resources in support of getting elementary students in the state of Kansas reading on grade level by the time they complete third grade.   

While benefits are statewide, 10 schools in 10 different districts across the state of Kansas that have been identified as schools in highest need of literacy development will receive additional assistance and resources including professional development in literacy instruction, funding of after-school programs in literacy, parent literacy activities and training, iPad apps for practicing literacy skills and the purchase of literacy materials. The KMLC will provide resources and assistance for each of these 10 schools for three years 

More information about KMLC can be found at http://www.emporia.edu/literacy/.

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