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Sparking Early Literacy Growth in West Virginia


Together, we are working toward improving West Virginia's literacy scores by the end of the third grade.

Request for Proposals Resource Guide

To read, write and communicate effectively, learners need foundational literacy skills.

Select West Virginia schools are helping young learners in some of the state’s most remote, rural areas improve their reading and writing skills through Sparking Early Literacy Growth projects.

2022 projects have been selected and funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the EQT Foundation.

Read about 2022 projects Read about 2021 projects

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Reading proficiency by the third grade is a key milestone in every child’s learning journey. But there's a growing disparity among our early learners. The Sparking Early Literacy Growth projects help break through these silos and reach many of West Virginia’s most marginalized students as possible.

  • Disadvantaged children often do not have exposure to the reading and vocabulary that develops early language and cognitive skills, 61% possessing no children’s books at home.
  • By age two, these children are already behind their peers in listening and counting.
  • By age four, they may hear as many as 30 million fewer words before reaching kindergarten.
  • By age five, they may only recognize 9 letters compared to 22 among children raised in more affluent households.
*Source: National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

The West Virginia Reading Association's annual Visual Conference Journal features an article authored by the Sparking Early Literacy Growth in West Virginia team. Learn more about literacy projects and best practices from our very own experts!

WVRA 2023 

Read the Journal