Children who read well by third grade are more likely to succeed in school, reach their potential and achieve college and career goals. Those who don’t are four times more likely to drop out of school and face an uncertain future.
Fort Worth’s growing population and economy require a new generation of innovators, designers and creators. Mayor Betsy Price and Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner created Read Fort Worth with the long-range view of strengthening the city’s workforce by improving children’s lives.
“Our first focus is on driving significant improvement in third grade reading achievement for (our) 83 elementary schools, which include about 47,000 students,” said Read Fort Worth Executive Director Kristin Sullivan. “Fort Worth ISD represents about 68 percent of the city’s school-aged population, so we started here. But the strategies that our Action Networks implement to drive positive change can be adapted for any school district in our region.”
Read Fort Worth has four key Action Networks focused on child well-being, school readiness, expanded learning opportunities (summer and after school) and reading resources such as classroom books, volunteer reading mentors and other support that schools need in order to thrive.
Additional work focuses on strengthening family engagement, teacher quality and retention and improving school attendance. The Sundt Foundation made a $1,500 grant last year to support Read Fort Worth’s efforts.
“Read Fort Worth was incredibly fortunate to welcome Sundt Construction as a new supporter of our collective impact effort,” Kristin said. “Sundt joins other supporters in helping our organization align partners across the city under our shared goal.”
Kristin said it will take a team effort to reach that ambitious goal. She’s appreciative to have supporters from many walks of life.
“Our goal can only be achieved when we are all pulling in the same direction,” Kristin said. “This effort requires a full-court press from across sectors – health care, child care, youth program providers, businesses, civic groups and the faith-based community.
This is part of a series of blogs about the positive impacts made by the Sundt Foundation.