The Thirty Million Word Gap

In this groundbreaking study, Betty Hart and Todd Risley entered the homes of 42 families from various socio-economic backgrounds to assess the ways in which daily exchanges between a parent and child shape language and vocabulary development. Their findings were unprecedented, with extraordinary disparities between the sheer number of words spoken as well as the types of messages conveyed. After four years these differences in parent-child interactions produced significant discrepancies in not only children’s knowledge, but also their skills and experiences with children from high-income families being exposed to 30 million more words than children from families on welfare. Follow-up studies showed that these differences in language and interaction experiences have lasting effects on a child’s performance later in life.

7 Rules of Engagement—What's Most Important to Know about Motivation to Read

  • Reading Teacher Vol 65 Cover Research demonstrates that promoting intrinsic motivation to read should be given high priority in the reading curriculum. Seven research-based rules of engagement are described, along with practical classroom tips for supporting and nurturing students' motivation to read.


The Campaign for Grade Level Reading

Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
A collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, states and communities across the nation to:

  • Close the gap in reading achievement that separates many low-income students from their peers
  • Raise the bar for reading proficiency so that all students are assessed by world-class standards
  • Ensure that all children, including and especially children from low-income families, have an equitable opportunity to meet those higher standards

Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters: A KIDS COUNT Special Report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation


  • Reading Matters Icon

    Children who read on grade level by the end of third grade are more successful in school, work, and in life. This KIDS COUNT special report affirms a commitment by the Casey Foundation to help ensure that all students are proficient in reading by the end of third grade and to help narrow the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children.

Adolescent Literacy: A National Crisis

  • Adolescent LiteracyEven as the nation seeks to improve early literacy, there must be a commitment of resources, time, and staff to provide reading instruction for adolescents with low literacy skills. Investing in age-appropriate, research-based reading intervention now will avoid future spending on public welfare, unemployment benefits, and the criminal justice system. It will also allow the current generation of adolescent students to experience success in school and in life.

Addressing Summer Reading Setback Among Economically Disadvantaged Elementary Students

  • Alliance of ExcellenceHow letting economically disadvantaged students choose what they want to read over the summer can prevent summer learning loss

Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning

  • Making Summer Count"In June, July, and August, many students forget some of what they learned over the previous school year. But “summer slide” takes its biggest toll on low-income students, contributing substantially to the achievement gap between them and better-off youngsters." 


Do Kids Really Have Summer Reading Loss?
Reading just four or five books can ward off setbacks in language skills

They appear every summer as reliably as the stories about shark attacks: a rash of articles raising the alarm about the “summer slide,” or the loss of learning that grade-school students experience over the months when classes are out. Concern about this leads many a parent to stock up on workbooks and flash cards, or to enroll their children in educational camps and enrichment programs. But is the summer slide really the seasonal disaster that we’ve been warned about? A close look at the research reveals a more complicated picture.

The High Cost of High School Dropouts: What the Nation Pays for Inadequate High Schools-Alliance for Excellent Education

  • November 2011 Issue Brief

The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School

Growing Healthy Readers: A Starter Kit for Sponsoring Coalitions to Strengthen Health and Learning

  • Growing Healthy Readers report coverThe Campaign has developed a Starter Kit to help Sponsoring Coalitions within the Grade-Level Reading Communities Network identify important child health issues and integrate strategies that address them into their work to improve grade-level reading outcomes.


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