April 16, 2024

Friends-Chicago Featured in Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago, it is time to sound the alarm about our illiteracy epidemic. Read Taal Hasak-Lowy's Op-Ed in the Chicago Sun-Times here.

According to the 2023 Chicago Public Schools state report card, only 12.2% of low-income third graders were reading at grade level.

We are depriving children of their futures. And we’re all going to pay the price.

Why does this matter? On-track reading by the end of third grade is a key indicator of a child’s likelihood to graduate from high school.

Literacy opens a child’s world. When a child is literate, school is a welcoming place where they can learn and flourish. When a child struggles to read and is left behind, school becomes alienating. To compensate for an inability to read, children will often act out, disrupt, disengage and ultimately drop out.

There are no quick fixes to this illiteracy crisis. You cannot give a sprinkling of support to a child who has experienced significant trauma and expect to get results. It is only through individualized, in-depth, and long-term support that we will empower children born into the most challenging circumstances to thrive.

Read the full Op-Ed here.