Kids Deserve the Right to Read

At my house, we read all the time. I push my foster daughters, who are teen moms, to read to their children. While we might grow frustrated with the accumulation of toys to trip over, we are always excited for new books to read. It’s the best part of our daily bedtime routine.

Imagine my surprise when I started digging into literacy research and learned that, while all of this is super important, it’s only part of the equation. Learning to read has been called a “neurological backflip” and teaching children to read takes tremendous skill and persistence.

And that’s why early literacy instruction is one of the issues we are focused on in 2022.

The fact is that only 33% of Illinois fourth grade students were proficient readers on the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress. How have we grown to accept this? What is more fundamental to our children’s education than learning to read?

Most states have acted recently to ensure literacy instruction is evidence-based. But Illinois isn’t one of them…yet.

Join us and show your support for improving literacy instruction here in Illinois.

This year, we joined forces with advocates from across the state to form the Illinois Early Literacy Coalition. This is a diverse group of individuals and organizations who want to improve public policy and funding so that all students have access to evidence-based literacy instruction and teachers have the support they deserve.

Would it surprise you to learn that many teacher preparation programs still highlight instructional methods that aren’t evidence-based? Or that many Illinois schools use curriculum that also isn’t aligned with the boatload of evidence about how children learn to read? We can do better!

We’ll be in touch soon with other ways to get involved in this campaign. In the meantime, I hope you’ll join me (and many others across the state!) by showing your support for helping more young Illinoisans learn to read.

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