Learn to Earn Dayton's Early Grade Literacy Collaborative recognizes that in order for students to read proficiently by third grade they need teachers who believe in the science of reading, home-based resources to empower caregivers, and quality out-of-school opportunities so learning can continue outside the school walls.
But there's another critical element, and that is the fact that students need to show up at school. USA Today recently published a deeper look at chronic absenteeism in the early grades, acknowledging that for "kids in the early grades, their attendance is affected both by what's happening with them and what's happening with their parents."
On a drizzly, blustery morning in late April, elementary school Principal Jasibi Crews helped students exit their cars, heavy-duty umbrella in hand. Most of the school’s students live nearby and can walk to campus, but given the weather, many had to be dropped off.
Crews worried her school’s attendance would take a hit because of the conditions, and by the time she returned to her computer, her inbox confirmed her concerns. One grandma cited the downpour and concerns about a fever. Others said they didn’t have a car.