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Kentucky's students are falling behind on literacy

stock photo of books
stock photo of books

Literacy remains a concern for students across the nation. In Kentucky, one third of students are reading at grade level proficiency. According to The National Assessment of Education Progress, students in the commonwealth have been on a decline since the mid '90's.

Latoya Whitlock is the co-founder and executive director of the Louisville based Decode Project. In an interview with Eastern Standard, she said there are specific groups of a students who are struggling with literacy.

“All kids, essentially struggling to read or are struggling readers, but we know, like much of our education failures, it disproportionately falls on the backs of Black and Brown students and those who qualify for free or reduced lunch.”

She said groups like hers are seeing some progress in helping students.

“One of the ways we know that our program is working is that kids go from having their heads down, to being super excited about learning to read, being willing to be at school, all day long, doing a hard thing, then after school do a hard thing again, and being a willing participant in order to do that.”

Whitlock said the Decode Project is a non-profit that has been around for about five years. Many of the people hired and trained by the group are college students who plan on being teachers upon graduation.

Hear more with Decode Project co-founder Latoya Whitlock coming up this week on Eastern Standard on WEKU.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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