Kansas Reading Roadmap: A statewide initiative to help children succeed by becoming proficient readers partners with FAST

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, third grade reading proficiency is crucial for continued academic success and to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. The Kansas Reading Roadmap is a statewide project of the Kansas Department for Children and Families working in partnership with the Kansas Department of Education to improve third grade reading scores. The Kansas Reading Roadmap combines in-school interventions with out-of-school evidence-based supplemental programs provided by Families and Schools Together, Inc. to support students who struggle with reading. The program is being evaluated by the University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships and Research.

The theory of change is that aligning and seamlessly combining these nationally recognized and effective programs into one effort will increase student’s reading progress more effectively than any one intervention or program in isolation. As the Kansas Reading Roadmap family engagement partner (2014-2016), Families & Schools Together, Inc. contributed the following outcomes:

  • Enabling children to succeed in school due to improved behavior and better home-school relationships, leading to improved academic achievement;
  • Strengthening families due to improved parent-child bonds, better family communication, and empowered parents; and
  • Building communities with increased trust, participation, reciprocity, and reduced social isolation.
  • Engaging parents in working directly with their children on literacy based or focused learning activities at home.

Kansas Reading Roadmap Evaluation – Promising First Year Results

According to the University of Kansas’ independent evaluation of 2014-15 results of over 5,000 children in 30 low-income schools statewide, “KRR school sites [achieved] whole-school improvement in literacy achievement, with students participating in extended learning opportunities [saw] striking increases as well. Students whose families participate in family engagement and strengthening activities demonstrate significant gains over time.”