Local organization calls for solution to Henrico’s ‘reading crisis’

HENRICO Co., Va. (WRIC) — A local organization is set to attend the Henrico County School Board meeting on Thursday to address concerns that the school-wide literacy efforts are not meeting the needs of students.

Representing Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities (RISC) says they are demanding a solution after nearly 8,000 children failed their state reading tests in 2016. According to RISC, this is an increase of nearly 500 students failing since the 2014-15 school year.

Fifteen Henrico County elementary schools remain unaccredited in reading—13 of them are in the East End, and eight of those schools showed no improvement in 2016. RISC also says by middle school, students in Eastern Henrico are three times more likely to fail reading than students in the West End.

The organization believes the solution to this problem will be using the Direct Instruction curriculum, also known as SRA Reading Mastery & Corrective Reading, as a core curriculum. HCPS used this program as an intervention after students failed reading, but RISC leaders are asking that the students are taught with this program from the beginning.

The school board meeting is set to start at 6:30 p.m. at the New Bridge Learning Center.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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