CAE’s Adjunct Fellow Kevin Terrell: “Start Reading Now” in Minneapolis reaches 5,500 Children

When I’m not keeping tabs on the Met Council, I’m often working on my non-profit, Start Reading Now. This week we launched our summer programming at the 30 highest poverty elementary schools in Minneapolis Public Schools.

As it turns out, the new Superintendent of MPS has made summer reading a big focus for the district, and he rolled out this year’s events at our book fair at Hmong International Academy in north Minneapolis on Tuesday. We had coverage from the Star Tribune, KSTP, and really nice piece by Nate Gotlieb at The Southwest Journal.

It was a well-attended, festive event with appearances by various foundation and non-profit executives, school board members and others. This year we are serving 5,500 kids in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade over nine days, and we will start to have test scores on the impact of the program on reading scores starting this fall.

We believe we will have the largest dataset in the country of kids who have gone through a real-world implementation of the research on which the program is based. That research indicated that a program like ours has a bigger impact on reading scores than three years of summer school, at 1/60th the cost. And honestly, I can’t imagine what the downside is to kids having their own library of 30 self-selected books so they can Start Reading Now!


(Kim found the photo of Kevin reading with his brother; she thought it was perfect.)