The Issues

School Readiness

There is a defined gap that separates disadvantaged children from their more affluent peers. As early as 18 months, low-income children begin to fall behind in vocabulary development and other skills critical for school success. Parents play an enormous role in closing this gap, as do daycare providers, pediatricians, preschools programs and the broader community.

Research shows that learning begins long before a child enters kindergarten. Children – even infants – soak up words, rhymes, songs and images. Developing vocabulary is particularly important. A child’s health, and the timely recognition of developmental delays, is another critical aspect of school readiness.

A child’s vocabulary as early as age 3 can predict third grade reading achievement.



School attendance

Chronic absence can be a sign of families and neighborhoods in need of support. Often, school attendance is an early warning of challenging social, economic and health conditions that communities need to be aware of.

In the early grades, frequent absences rob students of the time they need to develop skills in important areas like literacy and put them dramatically behind their peers.

Kindergartners who miss 10% of school days have lower academic performance when they reach 1st grade.



Summer Learning Loss 

Research spanning 100 years has proven that students lose ground academically when they are out of school for the summer.

Everyone can help schools and organizations address summer learning loss by supporting strong programs that engage children in summer learning opportunities. Summer learning’s new form of blended academic, hands-on activities combined with arts, sports, technology and building relationships gives student’s the gains they need to not lose ground academically during the summer months.

By the end of 5th Grade, disadvantaged children are nearly three grade equivalents behind their more affluent peers in reading.



St. Lucie County school districts continued showing progress on third-grade reading scores

St. Lucie County ELA (English Language Arts) test results from Spring 2019 Compared to Spring 2015 E