History: Every 1 Reads

In September 2003, Greater Louisville Inc., JCPS and Louisville Metro Government kicked off an ambitious reading initiative called Every 1 Reads: a community-wide effort to have every child in JCPS reading at grade level.

Much has been accomplished since the beginning of this initiative in 2003, but we still need your support. JCPS has increased the number of students reading at grade level to 91.5% and over 8,200 volunteers have been trained to help students reach their potential.  The support from the community has been tremendous.

A partnership to develop successful readers…a successful community.

Every 1 Reads is a result of Greater Louisville Inc.'s Education Task Force and was outlined in the 2003 Report on Education. The task force studied multiple issues impacting local public education and recognized that the business community, in particular, had an obvious and strong interest in our schools achieving and maintaining education excellence.

Reading is at the cornerstone of all educational skills. Better-educated students will be able to reach for new opportunities and help shape a more skilled workforce. The task force's principle recommendation was that JCPS and our community adopt as a goal that every student read at grade level within four years.

The measurement of progress for Every 1 Reads began with the 2004 CATS test. At that time, 14.4% of JCPS students were not reading at grade level. These results represent the baseline—the books will close on Every 1 Reads with the results of the CATS test 2008.

In answer to this significant challenge of having every child—that's every single child be they middle-class or poor, born in this country or learning English as their Second Language, average in their development or developmentally delayed—read on grade level, JCPS has reinvented the way reading is being taught and has implemented a comprehensive teacher professional development program. It was initially thought that $16 million would be needed to fund this effort. Half of the funding was to come from redirected public school monies and half was to be raised by the business community. As the initiative has progressed, however, it has proven to be much more costly. Currently over $30 million has been spent to create the positive results that are occurring.