NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Literacy Listening Tour Swings Through Fort Collins

Grace Hood
Mile High United Way President and CEO Christine Benero and Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia.

Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia brought his literacy listening tour to Northern Colorado and Fort Collins yesterday.

Garcia has been gathering input from schools statewide on how best to improve early childhood literacy. According to Garcia, about 30 percent of students leave the third grade without proficient reading skills in Colorado.

Poudre School District Board Member ML Johnson brought up the one question on everyone’s mind—how real improvements can happen without any money from the state.

“We need money to make things happen and I would like to see the governor’s office actually put the weight of the bully pulpit to make [that] happen,” he said.

Garcia has said the state simply can’t afford to spend its way to higher literacy scores. Instead he’s suggesting more cooperation between groups to increase opportunities for kids.

“We need to encourage collaboration between libraries, school districts, health care providers, all the social service safety net providers and ask what we can do to increase opportunities for kids to be successful learners,” he said.

The Lieutenant Governor will share the preliminary findings from his listening tour with the Education Leadership Council later this morning.