The WVDE has provided continuous leadership and funding to assist with the development and county-level implementation of the West Virginia Campaign for Grade-level Reading. This Campaign began with legislation and subsequent state policy in 2015 that includes a Transformative System of Support for Early Literacy. This multi-faceted approach to closing the literacy achievement gap by the end of third grade includes an emphasis on preventing the summer reading gap among young, particularly disadvantaged, children prior to the end of Grade 3.
Many of West Virginia’s 55 counties have deployed their own comprehensive early literacy plans (funded by the WVDE) that include efforts to prevent summer learning loss. Some counties have also made the important linkage between literacy and numeracy development, implementing programming that emphasizes literacy and math as part of a comprehensive approach to early and elementary learning. Many organizations, including the West Virginia Library Commission, have remained active and influential partners with the WVDE to ensure the following county and state efforts.
Synopsis of Selected County Efforts
- Summer reading and/or transition programs of sufficient duration and intensity, such as
- Americorps Energy Express, Early Literacy Instructional Support, and Summer Jump Start kindergarten transition programs
- Summer “Read and Feed” mobile libraries, tutoring, and/or feeding sites to reach some of the most impoverished areas of the state
- West Virginia Imagination Library: available in 45 West Virginia counties (provides a free children’s book to children each month ages birth-five)
- Early & elementary summer library programs: free children’s books are often provided to participants
- Students’ self-selection of a variety of 5-12 (or more) books for their home library, given to them at the beginning of the summer (funded by counties, West Virginia Read Aloud, and/or other organizations)
- Summer enrichment opportunities: including STEAM buses, STEM camps, and other family engagement programs
- County partnerships with food pantries to provide books and other literacy resources to families when they come to pick up food (funded in part by WVDE)
WVDE Transformative System of Support for Early Literacy: The West Virginia Campaign for Grade-level Reading provides an early literacy funding and ongoing support to counties to focus on areas such as summer learning loss.
Family & Educator Resource: Find My West Virginia Summer Learning Program: A comprehensive directory of local level early and elementary learning family resources is currently in production. This directory will include, among other information, a county-by-county, community-by-community breakdown of the numerous summer learning programs currently available to children throughout West Virginia. The directory will build on the success and structure of the “Find My WV Pre-K” site to provide families with local-level information about the resources they may utilize to assist their children to prevent the Summer Slide. The website launch is slated for May 2019. Further information will be provided by the WVDE at that time.