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SOAR Detroit


Soar Detroit’s Summer Reading Pilot focuses on increasing literacy for 1st-3rd graders who are underperforming in reading at grade level. A 2010 Annie E. Casey Foundation report summarizes why third grade reading levels are so important for Detroit’s students. Up until the fourth grade, students are learning to read in school. After their third-grade year, students are then reading material in a variety of other subjects to learn it. The report extrapolates that third graders who are not reading proficiently will be less likely to graduate high school and ultimately will be more likely to earn lower wages in their adult years. Low-income students in Detroit are also at risk for experiencing summer slide. A 2010 study by Johns Hopkins researchers Brenda McLaughlin, M.P.P. and Jeffrey Sink M.Ed. demonstrated that summer slide is an average loss of two months of reading over the summer months among low-income youth. In a city where third grade reading proficiency is only at 15%, increasing reading levels instead of seeing a decline during the summer months will make monumental change in the lives of Detroit students.