To win any game, you need more than a single solid play. You need a training program to build on the strengths of each player, a playbook of key plays and best practices to carry you to the end zone and a fleet of committed coaches to motivate players to achieve more.
The same things that drive success on the field are what drive success in life. And this past fall, together with the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Chris Long and teammates like Read By 4th, we executed a critical play in the effort to get more kids reading: First Quarter for Literacy (FQL).
But FQL was just the first play. We added to our playbook for success in late 2018 with Second Quarter for Literacy (SQL), a crowdfunding effort that supports work that will increase students’ access to books, launch an interactive web-based tutoring program for grades 1-3, expand UWGPSNJ’s regional grade-level reading campaign, and prepare kids and caregivers for school success.
Why is this work important? Research shows that reading may be the #1 skill students learn in the classroom. In fact, proficient reading is the leading indicator of a child’s likelihood of graduating from high school. A student who does not read on grade level by the end of 3rd grade is four times more likely to drop out of high school. Add poverty into the mix, and that same child is six times more likely to drop out.
That’s why winning plays like FQL and SQL are so important. Because students can’t succeed in the game of life if they aren’t outfitted with the tools and resources they need to thrive. Today kicks off our Read Across America Week celebration, and we’re working with Read By 4th, Mighty Writers, Treehouse Books and FathersLead365 on an entire playbook designed to put more books into the hands of children across our region.
This week, we’re hosting book fairs to build at-home libraries for children and providing parents with best practices and key plays to make the most of reading time with their kids. All told, starting this week and in the coming months, we’re giving 7,500 students across our region 25,000 books, equipping them with the resources they need to make the next great play in life and stay on track for long-term success.
All of this work wouldn’t be possible without a solid team behind us, committed to getting off the sidelines and doing their part. Special thanks to the companies and volunteers who stepped up to help execute the plays that are critical to our community’s success – together we’re providing students with a playbook to help guide them to success and equipping parents to coach their students to achieve their potential:
- CSL Behring
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Independence Blue Cross
- Subaru of America
- Wells Fargo
- Women United volunteers