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Updated Feb 7, 2013 - 7:47 am

“Read on Arizona” initiative launches to improve literacy

PHOENIX — The “Move on When Reading” statute takes effect for the 2013-14 school year. It mandates that third- grade students who don’t have satisfactory grades on AIMS reading tests may not move on to the fourth grade, as Arizona will begin following Common Core standards.

For that reason, Helios Education Foundation is launching a new statewide initiative called “Read on Arizona.” The initiative has also named the state’s first literacy director, Terri Clark, to help address the problem.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” said Ian Smith with the foundation. “The numbers tell us that it’s not as bright as we would like it to be. We believe through this initiative and collaborative effort we can get there.”

The foundation will work with the Arizona Department of Education, First Things First, Head Start State Collaboration Office and other partners to support implementation of Read On Arizona.

It’s estimated that only a quarter of fourth-graders are proficient at grade-level reading.

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