A 2017 report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that just 18 percent of Black eighth-graders reach reading “proficiency.” And in 2015 NAEP found that only 17 percent of Black 12th graders were proficient at reading. This means that during normal times, fewer than two out of every ten African American high school graduates have the baseline skills they need to succeed. Compare that to the nearly half of White 12th graders who tested “proficient,” a rate about three times higher than that of Black high school seniors.
Reading is everywhere. It is not just for kids or school anymore. Reading has transcended from being a skill associated with school, to something that enters every crevice of society - including our jobs, fitness routines and relationships.
The Literacy Center, a nonprofit organization based in South Carolina, found that “Low literacy individuals struggle to find employment or settle for low-paying jobs. They also under-utilize and over-utilize the healthcare system because they struggle to follow written instructions on prescriptions or discharge papers.” In addition, the center noted, “Individuals with low literacy are less likely to vote or participate in civic activities.” The Center also pointed to a link between low literacy and crime. Seventy-five percent of adults incarcerated in state prisons lack a high school diploma or have low literacy skills.
There are about eight-million African-American students in U.S. schools today. K-2 literacy initiatives can only help about a quarter of them. We cannot overestimate the importance of literacy in the 21st century. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) shows alarming statistics indicating that nearly 80 percent of 3rd-12th graders in the US are not reading “proficiently.” The impact on these students and their future is severe: without reading skills, we will leave these children behind to fend for themselves. 5,000,000 African American students currently have reading deficiencies
These injustices have been the fuel for our mission and mass areas of opportunity to help our community. Equality Dream Team's mission to create measurable economic opportunities for (African American) minorities, through programs relating to education, apprenticeships, internship, trades, corporate introductions and entrepreneur development and other advance business opportunities.
For more information read the following article by The Crisis Magazine.