Reading proficiency is closely linked to high school graduation rates, yet over half of New York City students in grades 3 through 8 are not proficient in reading. Similarly, the NYC Department of Education has found that 76% of 8th grade students are not proficient in writing. Literacy remediation in elementary school is a key component to future academic success, with a critical intervention period between kindergarten and the 3rd grade.
We were the first major funder to recognize the opportunity Springboard Collaborative presented to harness the potential of parent-teacher collaboration to close the literacy gap; we underwrote its expansion in Philadelphia and New York City. During a typical summer, most students experience a three-month regression in reading level. Springboard’s flagship five-week summer program not only avoids the regression but replaces it with an average 3.1-month gain.
Springboard couples its impressive student gains with unmatched parent engagement. All parents receive a home visit from a teacher and attend weekly workshops to learn how to pick a reading-level appropriate book and what to do before, during, and after reading. On average, 90% of parents attend all workshops.
Springboard also offers an after-school program for the bottom quartile of readers for whom summer gains alone will not fully close the reading achievement gap. Students average a 3.5-month reading gain during the four months; parent workshops average 98% attendance.
We sought to make a catalytic change in Springboard’s programming and reach by supporting the creation of a lower-cost certification model where Springboard trains and certifies teachers with a partner organization to implement and manage the Springboard program, and licenses products and services that unbundle its components.