What we’ve learned

From staff turnover and unavailable transportation to discovering the most effective ways for sites to customize the program, some of our greatest challenges served as our greatest teachers.

Enrollment data shows the population of Connecticut’s children is shifting. In 2021, 25% of children enrolled in RfG speak languages other than English at home. The increase in families that speak a wider variety of languages in the home may necessitate more specialized instructors or more or different supports for existing instructors, so they can assist both the children and their families in developing and maintaining key reading skills in English.

We found that strong ties with schools helped children access READy for the Grade

Quality instruction, productive partnerships, staffing stability and family involvement are key to an effective program.
Variations in instructional materials and strategies enable site directors and instructors to teach effectively and tailor the program to the needs of their unique communities.
Pre-pandemic, access proved more challenging than we anticipated, which led to inconsistent attendance at some sites. In 2020 and 2021, online programming and regular distribution of learning materials offered families new ways to participate.
Grade-level reading remains challenging for many children whose initial test data and other enrollment information show they are very far behind. Test scores from the end of the summer make it clear that READy for the Grade’s summer instruction definitely helps prevent children from falling further behind. Many of our students experience substantial challenges. READy for the Grade must provide continued support for these students’ teachers and families.

When we look at the gains children have made at the end of each summer, the tumultuous years of 2020 and 2021 revealed that the adaptability and perseverance of program staff, combined with some form of community support and family engagement, are perhaps more important than any other factors in determining the success of a READy for the Grade program. 
While our ideal is to serve more children, we no longer consider the number of children enrolled to be a success factor. If test scores are an indicator, then what’s more important in determining the overarching success of a RfG program is the quality of the engagement with those children and their families.

We continue to learn and evolve together and invite you to join us.

All Kids Need to Read

READy for the Grade serves a diverse population, with programs in rural, suburban, and urban communities. The challenges of living and learning with low income vary by setting. Click the site name for details.

Killingly

Manchester

New Haven

Hamden

Rockville

West Haven

Learn More About READy for the Grade

Thanks to the work of independent evaluator Anita Baker we have been able to understand the impact and document the outcomes of our program.

 

Questions?

Location: 195 Church Street, 7th Floor
New Haven, Connecticut 06510

Telephone: (203) 859.6555

Email: mott@newalliancefoundation.org
Learn About NewAlliance Foundation