The mission of Turn the Page KC is to mobilize the community to achieve reading proficiency at grade level or above for all third graders in Kansas City, Missouri. Turn the Page KC was founded by Mayor Sly James in 2011 as an initiative to raise the reading proficiency of third graders, which at the time was only 33%. Volunteer and community organizations began to rally around this mission.
Too many children from low-income families begin school already far behind. The research also shows that these children are less likely to be read or spoken to regularly or to have access to books, literacy-rich environments, high-quality early care, and pre-kindergarten programs.
Turn the Page KC develops awareness programs for families to understand language development from birth, increases access to high-quality early childhood programs, and provides age-appropriate books to build home libraries.
When students aren’t in school, the task of achieving reading proficiency by the end of third grade seems insurmountable. Studies show that students who are absent 10% or more during the school year (about 18 days) score significantly lower on third grade reading assessments and are less likely to graduate from high school.
Turn the Page KC evaluates and promotes chronic absenteeism interventions that are working in local schools, and convenes stakeholders to discuss and implement solutions to social, economic, and health factors that prevent children from attending school.
Without access to the enriching activities available to more affluent peers, research shows that children from low-income families lose as much as three months of reading comprehension skills over the summer. This loss piles up. By the end of fifth grade, they are nearly three grade levels behind their peers.
Turn the Page KC fills high-quality summer programs to capacity, and provides unique, literacy-rich experiences for students participating in these programs.