CLEVELAND, OH—On June 20th, 2015, five Lake Erie International High School (LEIHS) staff members and two LEIHS students attended the the 28th Annual Clifton Arts and Music Festival to donate books and urge the importance of child literacy.
The statistics regarding child illiteracy are startling. Minorities and urban youths, like the students that LEIHS serves, already face a statistically significant higher rate of incarceration, and nearly 85% of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving a correlation between illiteracy and crime.
Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Over 70% of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level. One in four children in America grow up without learning how to read. And Students who don’t read proficiently by the 3rd grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school.
LEIHS students and staff want to do what they can to help our youths in our community by promoting literacy and providing resources to improve reading and writing proficiency. We believe improving literacy rates among youths in our community will improve their overall well-being.
During the Clifton Arts and Music festival, LEIHS donated more than 150 books at various reading levels between 6th and 12th grade. Staff who attended the festival and handed out the books could see the excitement on the children’s faces.
“It was really nice to see the smiles on the children faces as they picked their books,” remembers Mr. Asche, a teacher at LEIHS who attended the festival.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not, and the more types of reading materials there are in the home, the higher students are in reading proficiency, according to the Educational Testing Service. The Educational Testing Service also reported that that students who do more reading at home are better readers and have higher math scores.
LEIHS also has a wide variety of books offered to students to take home and read.
“We are looking forward to participating in other upcoming events this year,” says Larry Burt, Director at LEIHS, “including having some of our students mentor and read to elementary students at West Preparatory Academy.”
Lake Erie International High School allows students to earn their high school diploma on their terms. We enroll high-school-level students aged 16–21. To learn more or enroll, visit our website.
The Clifton Arts and Music Festival is an annual celebration combining fine arts and live musical performances put on by the Cudell Improvement Inc., a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to the stabilization and revitalization of the Cudell and Edgewater areas of Cleveland as well as to other parts of the west side of Cleveland and in Lakewood.