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Paterson, we have a challenge before us.

Paterson, we have a challenge before us.  If we want ALL of our children to graduate ready for college and career of their choice, we must get them reading by third grade. From fourth grade on they must read well enough to comprehend the texts, draw conclusions and solve problems. Here you can see that we would be doing much better with graduation, if we were doing much better at third grade.

And it is not just about what happens in school. In fact, the targets of the work ahead of us are primarily our children’s first teachers, their parents or caregivers, and the people who interact with them, from doctors and health care workers to faith communities to our daycare and preschool communities.

We are using the National Civic League’s All-America Cities Award as a springboard for action here in Paterson. To receive the National Civic League’s All-America Cities Award, we must present the best plan for meeting three goals:

  • Increasing early learning
  • Increasing school attendance, especially for chronic absenteeism
  • Increasing summer learning

Let’s look at the impact of increasing summer learning.