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Early Learning: Grade-Level Reading

Georgia’s children are failing to meet the basic standard in reading by the end of third grade, and that has significant and long-term consequences for all Georgians. Low achievement in reading translates to struggles in school and lifelong health issues. Children who grow up without reading skills struggle to be productive adults and are costly to our state in terms of remediation and Georgia’s ability to compete in a global economy.

We have an obligation to our children and to our state to tap every resource and seize every opportunity to close the literacy gap and raise the bar for academic success for all children in Georgia. And we must work together in our own communities, where new ideas come to life.

Low Birthweight Initiative

The rate of low-birthweight infants born in the United States has reached its highest level in almost 30 years. The rate in Georgia is among the highest in the nation at 9.6 percent.

We at Georgia Family Connection, the Promising Practices Network, and RAND Corporation are alarmed about increasing percentage of babies born at low birthweight. We are engaged in a collaborative initiative to increase awareness of low-birthweight trends and current promising practices prevention efforts.

The Facts

  • Low birthweight infants are those born weighing less than 5.5 pounds.
  • Low birthweight infants face higher rates of infant mortality, developmental challenges, and long-term disabilities.
  • Preventing low birthweight infants is a serious public health challenge.

Low birthweight tends to be thought of as associated with multiple births resulting from fertility treatments and teen mothers. However, findings show that rates of low birthweight have grown for all groups of women—young and older, white and non-white mothers, singleton and multiples births. Researchers are puzzled as to why this is so.

It is our hope that by shining light on this issue and introducing new ideas in how to address it, more communities will focus on this indicator of child well-being.

Annual Reports

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