MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis nonprofit is making it a mission to help young students at risk of falling behind due to lost time in the classroom after schools closed early this year.
Give901, a sister organization to Choose901, is a nonprofit that focuses on serving at-risk low-income students through education.
The group is now in the process of collecting donations to provide 1,300 summer learning kits to students in need at its nine partner schools in Memphis.
Each kit provides reading and activity books and will be given to students in kindergarten through third grade. Give901 says students in that age group stand to suffer the most from the lost time in the classroom and that online learning isn't the most ideal way to learn for them.
Studies also show that it's a critical time for development and life-long educational skills for kids in that age group.
"These low income families don't have books laying around the house. Well, if you're just learning how to read and you're no longer going to school and online learning really isn't available to you then you have a lot of disruption in your learning happening here," Anne Pitts, Give901 Director, said.
When schools closed early, students lost a quarter of in-class instructional time. Pitts said they want to ensure students already at risk of falling behind don't fall behind even more because of it.
"Over 75% of third graders who are not reading at a third level are going to continue to struggle at school year after year and they're less likely to graduate form high school," she said. "That's an astounding number but then when you look at Memphis statistics it becomes even more dire."
According to Shelby County Schools, 76% of third graders could not read at a proficient level based on test results from the state's standardized assessment TNReady.
Give901 is currently $8,000 away from its goal to be able to provide 1,300 learning kits.