Parents, faith leaders confront Henrico School Board over ‘reading crisis’

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Faith leaders and parents in Henrico confronted school board members about the county’s lagging literacy rates on Thursday, and the board got an earful.

Parents are calling it a ‘reading crisis’ after thousands of students failed to pass their state reading test last year.

“Even in the IB program I see some classmates reading and writing skills are not where they need to be,” one speaker said. “Several of my classmates have poor handwriting and vocabulary and they just can’t keep up with my class.”

Fifteen elementary schools in the county remain unaccredited.

“We can’t forget that the disparity between eastern and wester Henrico keeps growing, so the low-income and minority students are disproportionately affected by this reading crisis,” another speaker said.

The faith group — called “Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities” —  handed over hundreds of letters from parents demanding a change.

“We remain concerned. Eight thousand children are still failing in reading. This means that the future of the community is at risk.”

Henrico Schools tell 8News literacy has always been a focus of the school division and that all 46 elementary schools receive support from literacy coaches.

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