Rhode Island Reads: The Campaign for 3rd Grade Reading - Attendance Matters

Children fall behind and struggle to catch up when they aren't in school, even in the early years. Students who are chronically absent (miss more than 18 days or 10% of a school year) in grades K-3 miss opportunities to learn and develop the important academic and social-emotional skills that are critical for school success. Attendance in high-quality early learning programs is also important for long-term success.

C hronic absenteeism can affect the success for all students in a class, not just those who are absent, because teachers may have to backtrack or slow the learning pace to review lessons for students who have missed school.   

Here are ways that you can help make sure children are in school every day, and the latest data on chronic early absence.
Get Your Flu Shot!

Children in schools and child care settings are at risk for getting and spreading the flu, as they have close contact with one another during the day. The flu can contribute to chronic absence. 

Teachers and school staff should recognize the signs and symptoms of the flu and take precautions to prevent the spread of flu in schools, including encouraging everyone to get a flu shot. Starting October 2, flu shot clinics are being held across the state at many convenient locations and times. Search the table here (please give the table a moment to load) to find a clinic that is convenient for you. 
Video: The Statisticks Lottery

The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Campaign's partners across the country ( including us!) are dedicated to closing the reading gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers. 

This video shows why that gap occurs and how we can close it.
Back to School Books for Young Children

Here are some book recommendations for children during this back to school season:
  • School Bus by Donald Crews (ages 1 - 4) A book with pictures of bright yellow school buses and very few words per page, this is a great book for children who are interested in vehicles and where children go when they get on the bus. Use this book to start a conversation and point out details in the illustrations. Also, check out the author's Caldecott Honor book Freight Train.
  • Bye-Bye Time / Momento de la despedida by Elizabeth Verdick (ages 1 - 3)
    Being dropped off at childcare/preschool means saying good-bye to Mom or Dad-and for many young children, bye-bye is a big deal. This gentle bilingual English-Spanish board book helps ease the transition with simple routines: hugs and kisses, a big wave, a deep breath. Children learn that good-bye is not forever, it's just for a while.
  • The Wheels on the Bus by Paul O. Zelinsky (ages 2 - 8)
    Almost every child enjoys singing about wheels that go round and round, doors that open and shut, and people who go bumpety-bump. This edition includes interesting things to look for on every page as well as lift the flap and pull the tab actions.
  • Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate (ages 3 - 8)
    It's the first day of kindergarten and Miss Bindergarten is hard at work getting the classroom ready for her twenty-six new students. This rhyming, brightly illustrated book is the perfect way to practice the alphabet and to introduce young children to kindergarten.

  • Voyage to the Bunny Planet by Rosemary Wells (ages 3 - adult)
    Everybody needs an occasional voyage to the Bunny Planet after a hard day at school or work. "By 11 in the morning, math had been going on for two hours. At playtime, Claire was the only girl not able to do a cartwheel. Once again, the bus was late." Claire needs a visit to the Bunny Planet, where she has the day that should have been.

  • Lilly's Purple, Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (ages 4-8)
    Lilly loved school. She loved the pointy pencils. She loved the squeaky chalk. And most of all she loved her teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse with treasures inside to school and can't wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly gets angry and sad and then sets out to apologize to Mr. Slinger. A favorite book for lots of kids!