Reading is Essential!
"Literacy is essential for success in almost every endeavor, field, career, and industry. In fact, research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the strongest indicators of a student's likelihood of graduating from high school. Together, we can improve literacy, foster academic success and ensure educational excellence for all Arizona children."
Governor Doug Ducey, May 2015
#SCHOOLEVERYDAY - ATTENDANCE MATTERS
Too many absences—excused or unexcused—can keep students from succeeding in school and in life. How many are too many? Missing 10% of the school year—that’s 18 missed days or just 2 days a month—can knock students off track.
More than 6.5 million U.S. students, or about 13 percent, miss three or more weeks of school during a single school year, which is enough time to slow their achievement and threaten their chance of graduating. Nationwide, nearly 10 percent of kindergartners and first graders are chronically absent. In some schools it’s as high as 25 percent.
Addressing chronic absence is a key component to improving graduation rates, increasing academic achievement, and giving young people the best chance at success in their adult life. Chronic absence is a problem we can solve when the whole community, along with parents and schools, gets involved in improving attendance.
NEW STUDY EXPLORES CHRONIC ABSENCE IN SCHOOLS
Recently, Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University released a report examining the scale and scope of chronic absence. Leveraging the first-ever national data set on chronic absence released in June by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics, “Preventing Missed Opportunity: Taking Collective Action to Confront Chronic Absence” reveals that while chronic absence is widespread and found in almost all states, it is also highly concentrated.
While chronic absence is a significant challenge, “Preventing Missed Opportunity” highlights that it is a solvable problem. The key is collecting, analyzing, and sharing real-time chronic absence data in order to spur collective action, and enlisting support from community partners. The report cites Read On Arizona and its MapLIT interactive mapping tool as an example on page 31.
Read On Arizona is committed to monitoring chronic absence data within the state so it can be used to target school and community resources. This report helps raise awareness that we need to work together to get children—especially our most vulnerable—to school.
Click here to read the report.
NEW REPORT OUTLINES FACTORS INFLUENCING 3RD GRADE LITERACY (READ ON ARIZONA)
September 23, 2016
Given the critical role literacy plays in children’s academic and personal development, Read On Arizona, the state’s early literacy initiative, and its partner organizations are leading a statewide effort to improve literacy outcomes for children from birth to third grade. At Read On Arizona’s recent Literacy Summit, a new analysis of data sets (2011-2014) was unveiled for Arizona schools that identifies school, district, community, and health factors that may affect early literacy. The study is available at. www.readonarizona.org/data-center.
According to Robert Vagi, research consultant at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and author of the report Factors Related to Early Childhood Literacy, several school-level factors are predictive of third-grade reading achievement, including school-level poverty and charter status. Most notably, two independent measures of student attendance correlated with third-grade reading success.
“Third-grade attendance rates and schoolwide chronic absenteeism are strongly related to third-grade reading scores,” Vagi said. “A 1% increase in third-grade attendance in Arizona is associated with an average increase of 1.5% of students passing AIMS reading. Meanwhile, a 1% increase in chronic absenteeism is associated with a 0.3% decrease in the number of students passing AIMS reading.” AIMS, Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards, was replaced in November 2014 with AzMERIT as the state’s assessment for student achievement in English language arts and mathematics.
2016 SUMMER READING TOUR
For the second year in a row, Governor Ducey launched a summer reading initiative encouraging Arizona's youth to stay sharp in their off-time by spending time every day reading and learning throughout the summer months. As part of the summer reading initiative, First Lady Angela Ducey visited several Arizona schools in May 2016 as a Scholastic Summer Reading Ambassador. During her visits, First Lady Ducey read to students and encouraged active reading over summer break, emphasizing the vital home-to-school connection during the transitional summer months. Scholastic Book Company donated books to each school the First Lady visited, putting books directly into the hands of children who otherwise may not have access to new, quality books.
“Making sure Arizona’s students stay mentally engaged and active over the summer months is essential to maintaining educational excellence year-round,” said Governor Ducey. “Research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the strongest indicators of a student’s likelihood of graduating from high school.”
The summer reading initiative aims to combat “summer slide” – the tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year. Research shows that children who do not read during the summer months can lose up to three months of reading progress, resulting in a cumulative, long-term effect. Reading just six books during the summer may keep struggling readers from regressing. Studies prove that access to books is critical to addressing summer slide, and that children and teens tend to read more when adults in their lives encourage them to read.
“Reading is a great way to spend quality time with your kids and support their academic growth,” said First Lady Angela Ducey. “Our libraries provide terrific resources and I encourage all parents to pick up a book and read with their children for at least 20 minutes a day.”
STOP ONE: BASIS Phoenix Central - May 9, 2016
Governor Doug Ducey and First Lady Angela Ducey launched their summer reading initiative with a joint appearance at BASIS Phoenix Central school on May 9, 2016. During their visit to BASIS Phoenix Central, the Governor and First Lady toured the school, read to students in a kindergarten class, presented book donations, and surprised the 1st Annual #WhyILoveAZ Bookmark Design Contest winner.
Click here to see more photos.
STOP TWO: Maryvale Preparatory Academy - May 12, 2016
First Lady Angela Ducey visited Maryvale Preparatory Academy on May 12, 2016 as part of her summer reading initiative. During her visit to Maryvale Preparatory Academy, Mrs. Ducey toured the school, listened to students recite poetry, read to first graders, and presented book donations.
Click here to see more photos.
STOP THREE: Sunride Elementary School - May 16, 2016
First Lady Angela Ducey visited Sunridge Elementary School on May 16, 2016 as part of her summer reading initiative. During her visit to Sunridge Elementary School, Mrs. Ducey met with students and staff, read to second graders, and presented book donations.
Click here to see more photos.
STOP FOUR: Escuela Manzo Elementary School - May 19, 2016
First Lady Angela Ducey visited Escuela Manzo Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona on May 19, 2016 as part of her summer reading initiative. During her visit to Escuela Manzo Elementary School, Mrs. Ducey toured the school, got a firsthand look at the Manzo's fabulous ecology program, read to third and fourth grade students, and presented book donations.
Click here to see more photos.
1ST ANNUAL #WHYILOVEAZ BOOKMARK DESIGN WINNER!
Congratulations to Smriti Sunil - whose design was selected by Governor Doug Ducey as the winner of the 1st Annual #WhyILoveAZ Bookmark Design Contest. On May 9, 2016, Governor Ducey and Mrs. Ducey surprised Smriti, a first grade student at BASIS Phoenix Central, to congratulate her on her amazing design. Smriti's winning bookmark design has been reproduced and printed for distribution to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive tower. Congratulations, Smriti - and thanks to all who participated!
GOVERNOR DUCEY'S 1ST ANNUAL BOOKMARK DESIGN CONTEST: #WHYILOVEAZ
Governor Ducey launched his 1st Annual Bookmark Design Contest on March 15, 2016. Arizona children ages 5 – 12 are encouraged to design bookmarks showcasing a "Why I Love Arizona" theme. The winner of Governor Ducey’s 1st Annual Bookmark Design Contest will have his/her design reproduced and printed on bookmarks that are distributed to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower. The winner will also be invited to the Executive Tower for a meet and greet with Governor Ducey.
Rules and guidelines for this voluntary contest are included below.
- Artwork and information must be completed on the Governor’s Office of Education “Bookmark Template” form (included below).
- The theme for the 2016 contest is “Why I Love Arizona,” and all designs must reflect this theme. Participants may include a short description of their illustration, but this is not required.
- All artwork must be original.
- Contestants must be ages 5 – 12.
- Entries should be submitted on 8 ½” x 11” white paper.
- All artwork submitted becomes the property of the Governor’s Office of Education.
- Children submitting their designs digitally should keep an original hard copy of their design.
Recognition for Selected Child:
- The distinction of “creating” the official 2016 Governor’s Office Bookmark, which will be reproduced and printed on bookmarks that are distributed to students touring the Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower from May 2016 through April 2017.
- Winner will be invited to the Executive Tower for a meet and greet with Governor Ducey.
- Winner’s name will be printed on the back of the 2016 Governor’s Office Bookmark.
- Winner will receive an official plaque commemorating the selected artwork.
- Winner’s name and picture will be included in related publicity materials.
Artwork must be received by April 15, 2016, and may be submitted via mail or email. The winner of the contest will be notified by May 1, 2016.
Governor's Office of Education
1700 W. Washington St., Suite 503
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Scan and Email: email@example.com with the subject line “Bookmark Design Contest.”
- Teachers: Please collect all submissions for your class and mail them in a single envelope.
- Teachers, parents, and legal guardians are encouraged to use social media to share designs, photos of children working on designs, etc. Use the hashtag #WhyILoveAZ and tag our twitter handle - @AzGOVEducation - and we will do our best to share out as many designs as possible!
READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY
Governor Doug Ducey will visit Encanto Elementary School in Phoenix to launch Read Across America Day on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 9 a.m. After his visit to Encanto Elementary, the Governor will join the Arizona Cardinals at the Salvation Army Kroc Center for Read Across America Day. Read Across America Day is an annual celebration that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss.
Find out more about Governor Ducey's Read Across America Day events here.
SUMMER READING PROGRAM
Governor Doug Ducey launched the Summer Reading Program in June 2015, encouraging Arizona students to spend time every day reading and learning throughout the summer months.
The initiative, a partnership with Read on Arizona and other organizations dedicated to the cause of childhood literacy, encourages all Arizona children and families to visit their local public libraries and sign up for Arizona's Summer Reading Program.
"Educational excellence should be a priority year-round – not just during the school year," said Governor Ducey. "Research shows that early-childhood reading proficiency is one of the highest indicators of a student's likelihood of graduating from high school. It also shows that summers without quality learning opportunities put our youth at risk of falling behind. Picking up a book for at least 20 minutes each day is an easy, fun way for kids to keep their minds active, prevent learning losses and keep all Arizona students on track for a successful future."
As part of Governor Ducey's efforts to promote summer reading, First Lady Angela Ducey visited several Arizona schools in May 2015 to visit classrooms, read with students and encourage Arizona students to stay actively engaged in literacy efforts over their summer breaks.
To view photos from First Lady Ducey's classroom visits, click here.
SUMMER READING PSA