Reading Power, Story & Update
Sep 20, 2023
Kathy McFarland, Board Chair, Reading Power
Reading Power, Story & Update

Reading Power serves children in North Chicago, Waukegan, and Zion, Illinois by providing early literacy interventions to prekindergarten to second grade students.

Students from underserved communities face several obstacles to their education before even entering the school doors.

  • The students Reading Power serves are eighty-one percent low-income and ninety-five percent minority (2021 IL School Report Card).
  • The students live in a book desert. Sixty-one percent of America’s low-income children are growing up in homes without books (Reading Literacy in the United States: Findings from the IEA Reading Literacy Study, 1996).
  • Black and Hispanic households are three to four percentage points less likely than white households to have reliable access to devices, and three to six percentage points less likely to have reliable access to the internet (Pew Research Center).
  • Minority students in kindergarten through second grade are not making as strong of an academic comeback as white students post-pandemic. Therefore, the learning disparity gaps have grown larger than before the pandemic (Amplify, 2022).

Despite these obstacles, Reading Power students develop the resiliency needed to survive difficult situations. Having the one-to-one social and emotional support of Reading Power tutors in their lives cannot be undervalued. This daily interaction gives these students what all children deserve and need. It is a critical component of our program’s success.

Host: Randy Daniel