Metropolitan Group is working with the State of Oregon Education Investment Board to create a wide-reaching statewide reading campaign to increase awareness around early literacy across the state. The campaign is a response to Governor Kitzhaber’s visionary 40-40-20 education initiative, whereby 40% of Oregonians will hold a 4-year degree or higher, another 40% will hold an associates degree or higher, and the remaining 20% will have a high school diploma or the equivalent by the year 2025.
Critical to this work is a strategy to engage the most at-risk student populations. As Governor Kitzhaber states, “Only 25, maybe 30 percent at best, of these at-risk kids are going to meet state reading benchmarks in the next two years. That is just not acceptable; it’s not acceptable morally and it is certainly not acceptable to spend one billion dollars in this economy on a program that produces those kinds of embarrassing outcomes.”
The objectives of the campaign are to build awareness and shared responsibility in communities around the state — designing strategies that encourage early literacy in particular. This work calls for cross-agency coordination among pre-K communities, K-12, and postsecondary institutions. It also calls for cooperation with agencies that provide social services, health services, and juvenile justice programs.
We are currently in the initial phase of this multi-year campaign, gathering information from stakeholders, community partners, and parents to develop a statewide reading campaign to benefit all Oregonians.