Research shows that children born into low-income families hear roughly 30 million fewer words by the age of three than their more affluent peers. This gap leads to an alarming achievement gap – in school and in life. Literacy-rich environments during the first four years of life are critical for laying the groundwork for reading proficiency in school.

Turn the Page KC’s School Readiness Collaborative Network focuses on building awareness programs for families to understand language development from birth, increasing access to high quality early childhood programs, and providing age appropriate books to build home libraries.

School Readiness Work Group Members:
Alliance for Childhood Education (ACE)
Centurions Leadership Program
The Family Conservancy
Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Hickman Mills School District
Kansas City Public School District
Kansas City Public Libraries
Mid America Regional Council – Metropolitan Council on Early Learning
Mid-Continent Public Library System
Operation Breakthrough
Reach Out and Read KC
Start at Zero
Success by Six
UMKC Institute for Human Development
United Way of Greater Kansas City
YMCA Early Learning

Please contact Mike English at if you are interested in learning more or joining this collaborative network.

Related Research
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, “The 30 Million Word Gap: The Role of Parent-Child Verbal Interaction in Language and Literacy Development.” This research brief gives an overview of studies on vocabulary development and the role of parents’ verbal interaction in early literacy.

Flavio Cunha and James J. Heckman,Investing in Our Young People.” National Bureau of Economic Research, July 2010. This paper by Flavia Cunha and James J. Heckman explores the value of noncognitive skills, such as dependability and persistence, that children develop in preschool. While preK may not always raise IQ, it can help children develop self control and other skills that are crucial to success in school and in life.

Lesnick, Joy et al., “Students At and Above Grade Level for Reading in Grade 3 Graduate from High School at Higher Rates Than Students Below Grade Level,” Chapin Hall, 2010 Researchers at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago used longitudinal administrative data to examine the relationship between third-grade reading level and educational outcomes.