TOPEKA– Four new Kansas-inspired programs will be launched in the Mississippi Delta this fall. Four schools in the Coahoma County School District—Friars Point, Jonestown, Lyon and Sherard—will begin a partnership with the Kansas Reading Roadmap to further increase early reading proficiency across the district. The Kansas Reading Roadmap program was commissioned by Governor Sam Brownback in 2013, and is funded by the Kansas Department for Children and Families, through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds, to help increase reading proficiency among children. This poverty-prevention measure has been successful in Kansas, and now the Coahoma County District will seek to replicate the success of Kansas schools from the Kansas Reading Roadmap in Mississippi.
The Kansas Reading Roadmap model aligns afterschool and family engagement with school-day instruction and intervention to build upon school efforts to promote early reading proficiency. Coahoma County schools use a school-wide strategy of assessments, instruction and intervention to teach children to read.
“The Reading Roadmap seeks to innovate how schools use out-of-school programs to drive greater achievement in early reading proficiency,” said Andrew Hysell, Director the Reading Roadmap. “Through science-based early reading strategies aligned with school interventions and data, afterschool learning can help schools better achieve third grade reading goals.”
At the heart of the Kansas Reading Roadmap is its partnership with the Kansas State Department of Education’s Technical Assistance Systems Network (TASN). TASN supports Kansas schools to implement the Kansas Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS). Kansas MTSS helps schools organize data and instruction to provide individualized instruction and intervention for all children. The Reading Roadmap aligns out-of-school programs with the Kansas MTSS system.
Currently, the Reading Roadmap partners with more than 60 schools and Boys & Girls Clubs in Kansas to expand science-based reading strategies to all students in out-of-school environments, including afterschool, summer and family engagement programming. The mission of the Reading Roadmap is to integrate and align out-of-school programs with data and instruction to enhance school efforts promoting early reading proficiency.
According to an independent, longitudinal evaluation of 30 sites, children attending Reading Roadmap afterschool programs experienced 57 percent greater growth than their peers—as measured by school assessments.
“Kansas Reading Roadmap has been very successful in the State of Kansas, so I am thrilled that Mississippi is adopting similar programs,” said Secretary Phyllis Gilmore. “Early reading proficiency is important because it arms children with the tools they need to have a successful and bright future.”
Third grade reading is a critical point in a child’s life when they transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Early reading proficiency is correlated with school and lifetime success. Research consistently shows that children who are not proficient readers by the fourth grade are four times less likely to graduate on time from high school.
For more information about the Kansas Reading Roadmap, contact Kimberly Muff at 785-243-4860. Learn more about the program at www.readingroadmap.org.