Public-Private Partnership Focuses on Early Literacy

Author: Helios Education Foundation

September 27, 2017

Helios Education Foundation is pleased to partner with Governor Ducey’s office and the Education Commission of the States to embark on a multi-year, multi-dimensional project to support Arizona’s work in improving the quality of kindergarten through third grade experiences for young children. The K-3 Quality Initiative was announced at the Read On Early Literacy Summit in late August and then fully launched at Helios Education Foundation's Groundbreaking event on September 27. 

“The K-3 Quality Initiative will help our state shape more effective education policies to increase our K-3 reading rates,” said Governor Ducey at the Read On Summit.

Research shows the value of high-quality early learning experiences in laying the foundation for future academic success.  However, we must also focus on ensuring that the K-3 experience of our children continues to build the language and literacy skills needed to ensure they are proficient readers by the end of third grade. 

This K-3 Quality Initiative will focus on prioritized policy levers such as funding, curriculum, instruction, assessments and professional development for teachers.

One of the reasons that Arizona was chosen for this project is because of the work already being done in our state to ensure high-quality learning experiences for our youngest children.

“We will build on the excellent work of the Arizona Early Childhood Alliance which has led the charge to elevate early childhood issues throughout Arizona,” said Ducey.

The project will engage key stakeholders from Read On Arizona, First Things First, Expect More Arizona, the Arizona Early Childhood Alliance, the Arizona Grantmakers Forum and the Arizona Department of Education.  They will focus on creating a K-3 quality framework that will propel Arizona forward in increasing 3rd grade reading cut scores to actual proficiency level.  The framework will identify the quality systems, funding and public engagement and branding needed to focus the public’s attention on the necessity of increasing early literacy outcomes. 

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