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The District 1 "Ready, Set, Read" Initiative 

The Problem

Roughly 15% of Birmingham City School students are reading at grade level; Unfortunately, this means that we have roughly 85% of our students that are not reading at grade level. If a student is not reading at grade level, it becomes difficult for the student to learn and keep up with the curriculum and succeed academically in any subject. It can also have a negative impact on attendance and behavior, making it difficult for students to achieve their highest potential in regards to standardized testing and overall classroom performance.


This issue is further complicated by the recent passing of HB 388 (Alabama Literacy Act); HB 388 requires students that are not reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade to be held back and required to repeat 3rd grade. As we stand today, this is a major threat to our students and could have an adverse affect on academic achievement, self confidence, and social skills.

The District 1 "Ready, Set, Read" Initiative 

The “Run to Read” initiative encompasses a series of programs, partnerships, and events designed to improve the reading proficiency and overall performance of students in District 1. Through partnerships with community-based organizations, non-profit organizations, local businesses and faith-based organizations, The “Ready, Set, Read” initiative will supplement the efforts of District 1 educators by integrating high quality program activities, small group instruction, and valuable resources injected directly to the classroom.


Phase 1 “Ready, Set, Read” Initiative Summary


Phase 1 of the District 1 “Ready, Set, Read” initiative was launched in partnership with Huffman Academy and Better Basics. During the 2019-2020 school year, a total of 60 2nd grade students will receive small group instruction on reading, phonics, and comprehension via the Better Basics “Reading Intervention Program.” 60 students represent roughly half of the 2nd grade. Better Basics will provide five certified reading instructors; reading instructors will be on-site three days per week working with students in groups of three to assist them with improving their reading and reading comprehension skills. The goal of the initiative is to see improvements in reading proficiency, test scores, classroom grades, attendance, and behavior. Providing individual attention in a small group format, will potentially lead to a tremendous increase in overall student performance. A student who is able to read and comprehend will perform better in both the classroom and testing environment.”


Phase 1 “Ready, Set, Read” Highlights


  • Planning Phase January 2019 – July 2019

  • Initiative Launch 2019 - 2020 School year

  • Roughly $60k investment

  • 60 2nd grade students will receive focused training on reading, phonics, and comprehension.

  • Each student will receive training 3 days per week in groups of 3.

Phase 1 “Run 2 Read” Partners 


Birmingham City Council District 1 Office

Councilor Clinton P. Woods

Huffman Academy (BCS)

Principal Mrs. T. Gilbert

Better Basics

Executive Director Kristi Bradford

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