An unsettling statistic in Sacramento County has arisen- it seems to be that three out of five students in third grade don’t read at their grade level. While five percent of kids in Sacramento County have increased their skills in language arts, the schools still need to find ways to better students reading proficiency.

April Javist, the Library Foundation’s Executive Director wanted to find out if high need schools in Sacramento were increasing at the same rate of other schools in the county or the state. “We just wanted to highlight where literacy providers are at because eventually, that’s the line we need to move the most,” Javist said. ”That’s the line we want to see the greater increase.”

When the report cards from Sacramento County came in and it clearly showed that there wasn’t much to be proud of. It showed that schools with more literacy programs often lagged behind schools with reading and writing proficiency. They also are typically farther behind the state average.

Also, according to the One World Literacy Foundation, 78 percent of fourth graders reading below that level will more likely end up in prison, on welfare, or both. And the fact is while kids in high-need schools improved faster overall, they are still trailing their counterparts by 14 points.

The worst areas in Sacramento County seems to be at schools such as the North Area District schools, Dyer Kelley Elementary School, and Thomas Edison Elementary. Schools like Encina Preparatory School and Elanor Hickey Junior/Senior High School are also struggling.

The question truly remains, what can we do to improve our literacy communities in low-income areas?