DeWine Announces Start of Statewide ReadOhio Initiative

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday announced the ReadOhio initiative, a statewide effort to encourage improved literacy skills for all ages, including the implementation of curriculum aligned with the science of reading in K-12 schools. 

The science of reading refers to research that has been conducted for decades by scientists and literacy experts that shows there is a science behind learning to read and that certain skills need to be taught, including phonics, a news release states.

“With 40% of Ohio third-graders not proficient in reading, we need to seriously look at how we are teaching reading in the state because reading is fundamental to future success,” DeWine said. “Our ReadOhio initiative will encompass all of our efforts to improve literacy skills of Ohioans of every age, from early childhood throughout adulthood because it’s never too early or too late to learn to read or enhance your skills.”

The governor also released a video to explain what the science of reading is and why it is important. In addition, he announced a toolkit for school leaders whose schools are not already using a curriculum aligned with the method.

“Ohio is committed to raising literacy achievement for all learners,” said Chris Woolard, interim superintendent of public instruction. “Whether a district or school is just getting started or already implementing the science of reading, we have developed multiple resources that school leaders, teachers and families can use as they start the new school year.”

Other ReadOhio efforts include:

  • “Read it Again!” a free digital resource for early childhood educators developed by the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy at The Ohio State University to help build language skills in infants, toddlers and pre-K students.
  • An online resource, available this fall, giving parents and caregivers tips to help the youngest children grow their literacy skills.
  • A continued focus on expanding the Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Ohio, which provides one free book a month for any child in the state from birth to age 5. Currently, more than 58% of eligible Ohio children are participating in the program.

DeWine signed an executive order in March to renew the state’s focus on building literacy skills, including a program to recognize schools that are demonstrating a strong implementation of best practices aligned to the science of reading and where students are making significant progress in reading.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.