Parents, educators, community leaders, and state policymakers gathered at Philander Smith College this weekend to discuss making third-grade reading proficiency a state priority.
The Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading hosted the two-day Action Summit this weekend.
The goal of the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is that by 2020, all Arkansas children will read at grade level by the end of third grade.
Arkansas is currently ranked 37th in the nation in fourth grade reading proficiency according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
In a report entitled "The Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading: A Call to Action " the Campaign found that 30 percent of Black children, 20 percent of Hispanic children, and 18 percent of White children do not read at grade level according to the state's Benchmark exam.
The town hall panelists at the Action Summit were Dr. Richard Abernathy, executive director of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators; State Senator Joyce Elliot, vice chair of the Senate Education Committee; Dr. Tom Kimbrell, commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education; Donna Morey, president of the Arkansas Education Association; and Randy Zook, president/CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.
A full outline of the Action Summit schedule can be found at www.ar-glr.net/actionsummit2013