We Need to Change Our Approach to Literacy To Help Our Children Reach Their Full Potential

“Georgia has a long history of dedication to early childhood and education,” said Get Georgia Reading Campaign Director Arianne Weldon. “Countless leaders across many sectors are working hard to provide support so children can reach their full potential.

But, two-thirds of Georgia kids were not reading proficiently by the end of the third grade, according to an Annie E. Casey Foundation report published in 2010. “We all realized we were in trouble,” said Weldon.

So where was the disconnect?

“Everyone agreed we needed to change how we think, talk, act, and work together so that we could create the conditions necessary for all children to be able to learn to read. The challenge was to create a common agenda to guide our new approach. And here’s the kicker: Our plan has to work at the state level, the community level, and the child level. That’s no small task.”

She said we were addressing literacy as an education issue, when it’s really a systemic issue. A systemic problem requires a systematic solution. The Campaign’s common agenda rests on four essential pillars that equip leaders with what they need to pioneer real change.

Watch this video to find out from Arianne why the four pillars are symbiotic, and why leaders across Georgia have to work together like these pillars so that we can create the conditions necessary for each child to be able to read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade.

Go back to hear from Ralph Smith, the national leader of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. He says Get Georgia Reading’s story is one of collaboration unrestrained by traditional disciplines, boundaries, and borders.