Did you know at the end of the 2016-2017 school year that two-thirds of school children here in the City of Philadelphia were entering the fourth grade unable to read at grade level? Unfortunately for those students, fourth grade is the turning point in which students stop learning to read and instead read to learn. However, while this is crisis that needs to be fixed there is hope. Read by 4th is a collection of more than 90 partner organizations, led and managed by the Free Library of Philadelphia, with the goal of doubling the number of students who are reading at grade level entering the fourth grade. Ultimately, Read by 4th wants to ensure that each student entering fourth grade is reading at grade-level so that they are preparing themselves for success in school and their lives ahead.
In order to help students become better readers, Read by 4th is tasked with the training of Reading Captains for each block in the city.
But what is a Reading Captain?
Simply put, a Reading Captain is the person in the neighborhood who has been trained to know all about the great reading and literacy resources in Philadelphia. Reading Captains take this information and share it with the families in their neighborhoods and communities so that families can have access to the information designed to help the children become great readers.
Ideally, a Reading Captain is someone 18 years or older and invested to see the families in their neighborhood have great young readers. As a Reading Captain this person demonstrates an interest in helping Read by 4th to reach its goal of raising the literacy rate, as well as achieving its ultimate goal of having all students enter fourth grade reading at reading-level. Finally, the potential Reading Captain is a member of a network of families they feel comfortable talking to, whether spread throughout the block, in their place of work or worship, or anywhere else they find community.
In choosing to become a Reading Captain you gain access to a wide variety of reading and literary resources that you will have the opportunity to share amongst the families around you. These include a manual full of resources and strategies, decals, bookmarks, flyers, and more. In addition, you will be receiving both a branded tote bag, as well as a branded t-shirt identifying you as the block Reading Captain.
At this point you may be asking yourself why you should become a Reading Captain, to answer this ask yourself how you would feel if you were a child entering fourth grade not at reading-level. As a Reading Captain you can help each student on your block, and in your neighborhood, to gain the advantage of a good education. By spreading the word on a variety of reading and literacy resources, you will have directly helped a family gain access to the information that will enable their children to become great readers. This, in turn, will enable them to become better students, and lay the foundation for them to succeed in life.
If all of this sounds like something you are interested, then please sign up below to attend an upcoming Reading Captain Orientation. It is here you will be receiving the wide variety of resources, branded merchandise, manual, and more. Please don’t miss this opportunity! Sign up today and help us to make a difference here in the City of Philadelphia.
Love Reading Captains? Let others know we’re still recruiting by sharing this page or our Reading Captains flyer.