How does literacy rate tie to overall regional economic success?
March 2, 2022
On March 2, people across the country will come together to celebrate Read Across America Day. This annual event aims to inspire and motivate young readers and provides educators, caregivers and parents with various resources and activities to help encourage reading 365 days a year.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Oklahoma’s literacy rate sits at 87.7 percent, falling below the national average of 88 percent. This statistic is in danger of further decline due to the educational interruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it also places Oklahoma in a unique position to boost its rate since we are currently less than 2,000 residents away from reaching this goal.
The literacy rate is a key performance indicator for both employee and overall regional economic success. The Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA) proudly partners with every public school district in Rogers County to support the development of crucial skills, both personal and academic.
Each year, CIEDA sponsors all Claremore Elementary Schools’ fifth-grade students to attend Junior Achievement’s BizTown Program. This six-week course takes students through a curriculum focusing on workplace readiness, entrepreneurship, finance and literacy. Upon completion of the course, students have the opportunity to participate in a day-long visit to the Junior Achievement facility in Tulsa to run their own simulated town. They operate banks and restaurants, write checks, learn to manage spending and investing, as well as vote for the mayor. The program helps students connect what they learn in school and the real world.
CIEDA is continually working to develop and foster the region’s workforce through connecting local business and educational partners. These partnerships not only help educators improve the academic and personal growth of their students but place a strong emphasis on involving the community in the development of its own economic future. Read Across America provides an additional opportunity for both businesses and local organizations to connect with the next generation of workforce, who are currently in the classroom.
In honor of Read Across America Day, I challenge educators, parents and mentors alike to utilize this celebration to encourage future career success through reading skills. The ability to read and interpret information to complete a task is essential for any future career, regardless of the industry sector.
Get lost in a good book, Claremore. You never know where those adventures will take you. They may just open the door to a future career path.
All my best,
Talent Development Specialist