Studies show that a child’s ability to read by third grade is one of the greatest predictors of lifelong success.
Fueled by these studies, the Oregon Legislature assigned the Oregon Investment Board to organize a campaign ensuring students are on track to read by third grade.
Hundreds of kindergarten students, along with educators, families and community leaders, filled Reynolds Middle School Tuesday, Dec. 2, to support a statewide literacy campaign called stORytime.
Tuesday culminated six events that have taken place since Sept. 29 in communities across the state.
Led by Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden, the initiative was designed to “build momentum for a community-wide focus on supporting families with literacy building,” according to a press release from the Reynolds School District.
Students from Wilkes, Glenfair and Margaret elementary schools participated in the event, being read to by middle school students, watching a performance by Self Enhancement Inc., storytelling and learning about literacy with Multnomah County Library.
The campaign’s goal is to empower families to play, talk, sing and read with children to help them learn new words and build literacy skills.
“What we saw Tuesday was about demonstrating ideas on how to incorporate reading and early learning into life moments, such as grocery shopping or riding the bus,” said Nicole Stein, Umpqua Bank’s vice president of community responsibility, noting that 61 percent of low-income families do not have access to age-appropriate books in their homes.
“That third grade moment is a critical pivotal point when students transition from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn,” she said.
In a partnership, the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation will match community book donations with a goal of putting more than 80,000 books in the homes of families in communities across Oregon.
Through Dec. 15, Umpqua will match every book purchased by the community through the stOrytime website, up to $100,000.
For more information, visit storytimeoregon.com. Donations may be made under the “books” tab or by visiting any Oregon Umpqua Bank store.
Donations may be made directly at this link: https://shop.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/DonateView?storeId=10751&org=STOR&campaign=S