What is the Need?

Oregon ranks 46th in providing early learning services to 3 to 5 year olds and 48th in high school graduation. In our region, only 31% of children have early learning opportunities prior to kindergarten entry. Children living in households experiencing the stressors listed above, tend to have language acquisition gaps compared to their peers experiencing fewer stressors.  If a child does not have access to as much language and has not had a reading-rich environment, they may already be two grades behind by third grade. Third grade reading levels predict high school graduation rates. Kindergarten through third-grade is focused on learning to read. Beginning in grade four, the focus shifts to reading to learn. A child who is already behind is less likely to catch up, more likely to feel they are not good at school, and more likely to dropout. Without the coordinated support of our system partners, that cycle is likely to repeat itself for generations.