Many kids in our community are struggling in school, experiencing some degree of poverty, or are lacking positive adult role models. These are huge barriers to a child's success in school and to ending cycles of generational poverty. Studies have shown that not graduating from high school has a huge effect on people's lives, and 3rd-grade reading ability is one of the main factors that determines whether someone makes it to high school graduation.
High School Dropout Rates
Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2012). Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation.
Those Who Don't Graduate:
Source: Northeastern University Center for Labor Market Studies. (2009). The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School.
STARS Book Clubs is addressing this problem by mentoring students in our community, providing both encouraging relationships and academic support. This not only gives students positive role models, but also empowers many students improve in their reading levels, changing their likelihood of high school graduation and the trajectory of their entire lives!
Jesús, a friendly and bright student, began 3rd grade about a year behind his grade's reading level. Jesús started Book Club in September 2013, and by May 2014 he was reading at a 5th-grade level- an increase of three grade levels in just one year! Now he has a much better chance of succeeding in school and making it to high school graduation. While not everyone makes such dramatic gains, Jesús is an example of how students can make great improvement with the added practice and encouragement they get in Book Club!