Read Fort Worth is a literacy initiative dreamed up by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and the Superintendent of Fort Worth ISD.
“It was created knowing that we wanted to make sure that every child in the Fort Worth ISD system could read on grade level by the time they left the third grade,” said Elizabeth Brands, Executive Director of Read Fort Worth. “This metric is proven both within Tarrant County and across our nation as a key indicator of a child’s success in school and in life.”
While Read Fort Worth is active all year, summer is a time where students lose a lot of learning while out of traditional school.
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“It’s often referred to as a snowball effect. Early education up until third grade is really dedicated to helping kids learn to read, but once you move beyond that, then reading becomes important for math, science and social studies. That snowball effect comes when there is a cumulative disadvantage for kids who have trouble reading,” Brands said.
“Across Fort Worth, there are six drive-in carnivals that every single one will provide families with tangible instructional items, IT support and emotional and support and emotional and support basic needs. We really want this to feel like Fort Worth is wrapping around one another with joy and kindness to make sure that every child has what they need to return to school ready to learn,” Brands said.
Read Fort Worth doesn’t do all this alone, though.
“We have over a dozen community partners that are part of this goal with us,” Brands said. “Read Fort Worth has this big goal that we are going to reach families where they are. In their homes and in their neighborhoods. It is the mobilization of all these community partners that make this happen.”
The program even offers a texting platform, with the help of Best Place for Kids, which provides age-appropriate activities for kids.