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  • Meagan Dorsch
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Washington, D.C.
Aug. 9, 2011

Is Reading the Key to Success?

SAN ANTONIO –  Recent research indicates that being able to read at grade level by third grade is a strong predictor of future academic achievement and graduation success. Policymakers from across the country are gathering in San Antonio to learn about effective approaches to early reading.

State legislators and staff are gathering as part of the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit, Aug. 8-11 in San Antonio. This session is one of 150 policy sessions that allow policymakers to come together and share ideas about pressing issues facing states.
Birth to Grade 3: Connecting Early Childhood to the Early Grades
Kevin Johnson – Mayor of Sacramento, Calif.
Patricia Kempthorne –  CEO, Twiga Foundation Inc.

Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011
12-1:30 pm

This luncheon presentation will feature Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and former first lady of Idaho, Patricia Kempthorne. Mayor Johnson took office in 2008 after retiring from the NBA after 12 seasons with the Phoenix Suns. Johnson is focused on education reform that includes a wide range of community and policy solutions starting with the earliest years. His school reform efforts have resulted in a reversal of the achievement gap for black students in the elementary grades and recognition of excellence for the middle and high schools with triple digit improvement in achievement and four-year college attendance at 70 percent, up from 20 percent. He will discuss his vision and plans for education reform aimed at improving grade level reading in the earliest grades, starting with early childhood.
Patricia Kempthorne, former first lady of Idaho from 1999-2006, is a leading advocate for family and children's issues. In 2005, Kempthorne founded the Twiga Foundation, dedicated to inspiring, promoting and creating family-consciousness in the home, the workplace and the community. She will discuss the importance of supporting families in their efforts to prepare children for success in school.  Kempthorne will share a variety of strategies that parents, communities and government leaders can use to support parents in their efforts to promote early learning and literacy.
Members of the media are welcome to attend this session and interview the renowned panelists. There is no fee, but reporters must obtain NCSL press credentials. Journalists can register onsite in the press room, Room 209 of the convention center.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.