GiveSmARt Blog

Using Data & Dollars to Help More Students Read

Arkansas Community Foundation created the Aspire Arkansas report to provide a county-by-county look at the quality of life in Arkansas. From that report, we learned that only 37.8% of our state’s third-graders can read on grade-level.

Only 37.8%.

A mountain of education research confirms that third-grade reading levels are a strong predictor of future success in school and beyond. So what can WE do to move these numbers in the right direction? 

We’ve partnered with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to make grants targeted to advance some simple, evidence-based strategies so that every child in Arkansas can read at grade-level by the end of third grade. Through that partnership, we’ve invested more than $350,000 statewide to support local programs working to improve our state’s reading scores.

We’ve got a lot of work to do. By partnering with the Community Foundation, you can make a difference. Here are four ways you can get involved:

  • Explore to learn about grade-level reading in your community. 
  • Reach out to your local affiliate office or our central office staff to learn about organizations working to improve local reading scores and opportunities to give.
  • Create a fund or endowment with the Community Foundation focused on supporting reading programs for the long-term. Contact our staff to learn more about your options.  
  • Monitor your community’s progress as Aspire Arkansas data is updated each year.