Fairbanks Native Association joining campaign to help students reach reading benchmarks

The Fairbanks Native Association, or FNA, is finalizing a letter of intent to join the 'Campaign for Grade-Level Reading'. Finalization of the letter will be taking place at an event FNA is hosting Tuesday starting at noon at Poldine Carlo building. (Photo Courtesy Storyblocks Enterprise)
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Fairbanks Native Association, or FNA, is finalizing a letter of intent to join the 'Campaign for Grade-Level Reading'. Finalization of the letter will be taking place at an event FNA is hosting Tuesday starting at noon at Poldine Carlo building.

According to the campaign's website, their focus is on students being able to read proficiently by the end of third grade. It goes on to say that this benchmark plays an important role in success in school, as well as high school graduation.

According to Daphne Gustafson, the Johnson-O'Malley Program Director for the Fairbanks Native Association, one of FNA's goals in joining this campaign is to increase community awareness. She says that for the 2017- 2018 school year, 76% of the students in the district scored 'below' or 'far below' proficiency for reading.

She went on to speak about the depth of this issue.

"It's an economic issue as well as an academic achievement issue," said Gustafson. "These students will be in our workplace in just a brief twelve years. We need to invest in our children's early literacy."

On top of the finalization of the letter, Gustafson says the association's Tuesday event will also mark the beginning of their next step in the campaign, which includes developing a community solution plan.

The event is open to the public and she encourages the community to attend.

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