Today’s businesses are confronted with the NEED to act in order to significantly change the trajectory of 3rd Grade Reading outcomes or in many ways face the consequences like the proverbial boiling frog – slowly being boiled alive. As the proverb goes, if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. McKinsey Consultants, by demonstrating that business has already accepted a permanent recession due to its failure to act, is clearly showing that the water is uncomfortably hot. But will your business act?
Here are examples of what businesses have done in communities working with Learning Ovations … for specifics on their actions see: www.workingdifferently.org
1. Focus Community Attention on the economic pivot point of 3rd Grade Reading. Don’t sit on the sidelines and blame the schools, the parents or the nonprofits. Use your strategic skills to clarify targets, measure results and get the barriers out of the way. Insist on results. Your livelihood depends on it.
2. Establish “Pay it Forward” Implementation Funds to assist budget-strapped school districts. Where done in concert with Learning Ovations, these school districts pay back the dollars through significantly lower remediation costs when ALL children are reading at grade level.
3. Align your Employees Volunteer Efforts to Improve School Outcomes. This could range from reading volunteers, to providing books to rehabbing libraries.
4. Connect Early Education Success to Health Outcomes and Poverty Reduction. Hospitals, in concert with health departments, are leading the way, here.
5. Realize that nearly every one of your employees is a parent or guardian. Here’s just a short list of what we have seen businesses do: give employees time to go to parent teacher meetings, put kindergarten readiness checklists in your employee newsletter, make books available for employees to take home, be more career-focused on bring a child to work day, support their literacy efforts so they can read to their children.
6. Require better connection between schools and after-school programs. With Learning Ovations individualized reports, these after school programs become integral assets in providing the type of activities that will propel a student to strong literacy outcomes.
7. Model Careers. Be available to schools to help introduce students to the opportunities AND demands of choosing a career in your field. STEM careers require the significant increase in advance reading skills as delivered in Learning Ovation classrooms.
8. Be more demanding of your Community Foundations, United Ways and other local philanthropies. With your contribution dollars, require them to be less fragmented and more focused on YOUR company’s future by targeting 3rd Grade Reading.
9. Most Important! Re-Think of how you view third graders: in just over ten years they will be your employees and customers. Don’t value them lightly.