Read by 4th website has new tools for parents

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s childhood literacy initiative Read By 4th’s website has new tools for parents and others to help young readers.

The site now includes specific tips and resources for helping children from infancy to age nine. The resources are broken out by three age groups, 0-2, 3-4, and 5-9.

Also, parents and community members can follow the progress of Read By 4th’s six-part plan to make sure all students read proficiently by the time they enter 4th grade. Currently, a third of students reach that level.

For instance, visitors to the site can find data of progress on such indicators as attendance rates, teacher training, after-school programming, and pre-K enrollment. One piece of data: the rate of kindergarten through third graders who attend school at least 95 percent of the time rose by more than three percent in 2015-16 school year.

It is too early to know the amount of traffic going to the site, said Jenny Bogoni, executive director of Read By 4th. However, as the initiative continues to expand its engagement with communities, she expects use of the site to increase.

"We know that to make the change we want to see in families’ lives and [children’s] reading levels, a website alone is not going to do that," she said. "A website isn’t even the primary tool for doing that. It is really a support mechanism for other activities that we’re doing."