West Virginia Department of Education Hosts Leaders of Literacy Inaugural Gathering

March 25, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Education's (WVDE) Office of Early Learning is hosting the inaugural gathering of the West Virginia Leaders of Literacy to support the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading by bringing together businesses, civic organizations and educators to address the challenges of literacy success in West Virginia. The meeting will be held at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Charleston on Wednesday, March 26.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is another milestone in the West Virginia State Board of Education's (WVBE) journey to meet Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's challenge to assure all students are reading at grade level by the end of the third grade. "We know that one of the most important factors in student success is the ability to read," said Gayle Manchin, WVBE president. "However, meeting this goal will require the support of everyone in the child's life — family, schools and community."

The Campaign focuses on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation: grade-level reading by the end of third grade.  Although schools must be accountable for helping children achieve, providing effective teaching for all children in every classroom every day, schools cannot succeed alone. Communities must serve as full partners in student success by removing barriers, expanding opportunities and assisting parents in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.

"If we are to ensure students are reading on grade level by the end of third grade, reaching out to education experts is paramount," said State Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares. "There is much work left to be done but together I know we can thrive in creating a system that provides children the early literacy skills they need to flourish throughout their educational careers."

For more information about the Leaders of Literacy event, contact Charlotte Webb, Coordinator of Elementary Education, at 304-558-9994 or the WVDE Communication Office at 304-558-2699.

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