Legislative session has ended, but our focus on literacy in New Mexico continues. We are grateful that our literacy bill, HB 481, was signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, though its passage is just one piece of the puzzle. Combating New Mexico’s literacy crisis and improving literacy instruction in the Land of Enchantment will be our top priority for the rest of the year. Today marks the start of the next phase of our journey and we’re asking YOU to be part of it.
Last year’s NAEP results revealed that more than half of New Mexico’s 4th graders (52%) score below basic in reading and are over 14 percentage points behind the national average. Moreover, our state assessment results show that only 1 in 3 students in NM are proficient readers.
We all have a part to play in helping our students access quality reading instruction. To continue our journey, we ask that you familiarize yourself with the history of literacy instruction across the country. This information is key to making progress together and will serve as a strong foundation for us to build upon with our future advocacy actions.
Here are the first four actions we ask that you take to join our literacy journey:
STEP 1: SIGN OUR LITERACY PETITION
If you haven’t already done so, sign our literacy petition to let us know you stand with us in our journey to improve literacy in New Mexico.
STEP 2: LISTEN TO EPISODE 4 OF OUR PODCAST, NEW MEXICO RISING
In this episode, you’ll hear from local teacher, Bella Chandler, about her own literacy journey and how it transformed her classroom.
STEP 3: LISTEN TO ALL 6 EPISODES OF THE SOLD A STORY PODCAST
Sold a Story is an award winning podcast hosted by reporter and producer Emily Hanford. Emily has been at the center of bringing the literacy crisis to light. This podcast helps listeners understand how poor literacy instruction hurts teachers, students and families.
It is a MUST LISTEN.
STEP 4: LISTEN TO THE 4 RE-RELEASED AUDIO DOCUMENTARIES ON THE SOLD A STORY PODCAST FEED
If you want to hear more of Emily Hanford’s excellent reporting, tune into her four audio documentaries: What the Words Say, At a Loss for Words, Hard Words and Hard to Read. All four episodes are available on the Sold a Story podcast feed.
As we embark on this journey together, we ask that you track your progress along the way using our literacy action center linked below. Each time you complete a step, please return to the action center and complete the coordinating campaign action (it’s easy and takes less than 1 minute).
The links to all materials are available in our literacy action center.
If you want to learn more, check out this article from the front page of Sunday’s New York Times. The article summarizes how communities across the country are making changes to provide students with science based reading instruction.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be providing you with more tools and resources to empower you along this journey. We will ask you to take more actions including, looking into what reading curriculum your children are using, having conversations with school leaders about literacy, and more!
Together, we can make progress for New Mexico students but we can’t do it without you. We hope you’ll start this journey with these four easy steps. We can’t wait to see your progress!