Baltimore city government employees are now able to devote up to two work hours per week to helping third-grade students hone their reading skills, the mayor's office announced this month.
In September, Baltimore was named among cities that received a $40,000 grant to target reading in third-grade--which research identifies as a critical point in a student's literacy development.
Currently, about 35 percent of Baltimore City's third graders are not reading at proficient levels, and the district's overall reading scores on the Maryland School Assessments slid back 2 percentage points this year.
The initiative targets 250 of those students in four schools: Edgecombe Circle Elementary, Callaway Elementary, Friendship Academy at
According to the announcement, the program has three key components: an evidence-based curriculum, a measure of progress and results, and a goal to have students achieve a one-grade-level increase in reading skills, on average, after 26 hours of tutoring.
The application process opened up to city employees last week. The employees have to the =hours approved by supervisors, go through training, and a criminal background check.