If a child doesn’t learn to read by third grade, he or she is at a substantial disadvantage in future grades when reading is required to learn. Then later, without the ability to read for comprehension, more than half of eighth graders will enter high school poorly equipped to learn skills essential for college and career.
Where We Stand
What Needs to Happen
Students who are not proficient in reading, particularly those furthest behind, need the most support and more one-on-one literacy coaching in the early grades.
The Tri-County Reading by Third Project, sponsored and guided by Trident United Way, is underway and focuses on teacher professional development in the practice of teaching literacy to young children.
Teachers who work with the community’s youngest learners are trained through the University of Florida’s Lastinger Center and are now implementing these practices in pilot schools across the four tri-county school districts.
This project should be expanded with fidelity to all elementary schools across the region if the evidence supports positive student outcomes.
What We’re Doing
In 2016, TCCC formed a literacy network to address the reading proficiency challenges evident in early grades that continue to impact student learning across the continuum.
In February 2015, TCCC hosted the first-ever meeting of the superintendents and board chairs of the four public school districts serving the tri-county region. The meeting focused on the results of the Regional Education Report and opportunities for the districts to collaborate to address shared issues. Among the outcomes of the meeting was the formation of the Lowcountry Education Consortium, an informal group of the four district superintendents that meets monthly to discuss shared interests ranging from inclement weather policies to funding and advocacy.