10-point plan unveiled to combat low youth literacy rates in Newark post-pandemic

Toni Yates Image
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
New plan to boost literacy among children
A new plan has been announced to boost literacy among children in Newark, NJ. Reporter Toni Yates has more.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Nineteen percent of third graders in Newark passed a literacy test last year. For all grade levels, the passing rate was 27%. In some schools, officials say the percentage was even lower.

It's a staggering statistic that is being attributed to remote learning over the pandemic.

Book clubs, story times and book giveaways are just some of the programs at Newark Public Library attempting to improve student literacy.

"Data shows that kids who have books in their house are more likely to read," Mayor Ras Baraka said.

Baraka created the Mayor Ras J. Baraka Barin Trust, which has the school district, public library and other agencies signing on to the 10-Point Youth Literacy Action Plan.

The plan calls for intensive tutoring in schools, enrolling more kids in pre-school and adding literacy components to after school programs like sports.

In order for the plan to optimize results, the mayor hopes to get everyone involved.

"We want mothers to be reading or people to be reading," Baraka said. "Mother is probably tired, so Daddy, why don't you read to the mother and the child?"

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