If you’ve been around Brookstone, you know how much we value a strong academic foundation. Reading proficiency by third grade is the strongest indicator of high school graduation. 

As a matter of fact, “A student who can’t read on grade level by 3rd grade is 4 times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time. Add poverty to the mix, and a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time than his or her proficient, wealthier peer…89 percent of students in poverty who did read on level by 3rd grade graduated on time, statistically no different from the students who never experienced poverty but did struggle with reading early on.” (Source: Education Week

Add to this study the horrific impact the pandemic has had under-resourced families, and the problem seems almost insurmountable.

Nevertheless, we serve a God of hope.

To address this growing problem, our early literacy starts as soon as students begin at Brookstone. Kindergarten teacher Mary Snoke provides an inspiring window into her classroom, where students picture-read high-interest books to puppets featured in the story. 

As a matter of fact, they “read” and make up the story.

Ms. Snoke shared that one of her students doesn’t talk very much because of a lack of confidence in English. Nevertheless, he embraced this assignment and told his bear a beautiful story.