Reading Corner: Improving Literacy Rates Among Low Income and Disenfranchised Students in America

Reading Corner: Improving Literacy Rates Among Low-Income and Disenfranchised Students in America

The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not always reflect the views of Reverb.

As an urban literacy consultant, reading specialist, and author, I am most passionate about the illiteracy rate in America.

As of November 2019, the NAEP reported that only 37% of 4th-grade children in the United States read on grade level. This percentage decreases to 22% in low-income areas.

Research shows that children who read significantly below grade level often drop out of school or go to jail.

However, when children can read, they can learn to succeed in any subject area.

To achieve this goal, we must provide teachers and parents training to give quality reading instruction at home and in school. 

Here’s what I’m doing

I help schools increase and achieve reading success, and I help them improve their teacher retention. This is so important that anybody and everybody should be helping out.

I have written articles for Edutopia, Education Week, and The 74 about this issue and possible solutions.

Some of the best solutions include extensive teacher training on the science of reading for undergrad students and side-by-side consulting for teachers in the classroom.

I have written two books on this, which were part of a national educational initiative supported by the NFL – Tackle Reading and A Touchdown in Reading: An Educator’s Guide to Literacy Instruction – and I’ve implemented urban literacy consulting services to support failing elementary schools.


Literacy rates and teaching abilities with regard to reading are some of the most significant issues facing America today.

I’m hyper enthusiastic about fixing this, and I would encourage everybody to do their part.

Together, we can teach the disenfranchised, or the just plain apathetic, to read!

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