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We Provide Community Resources to ensure all children can read proficiently by the end of third grade.

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Our Mission

The mission of Turn the Page STL, the St. Louis Chapter of the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading, is to work together, align and lead a city-county wide literacy initiative, in order to increase the number of children that are reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade in the St. Louis Community.

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Building confident and connected readers through access to resources, quality solutions, and community trust.

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The Issue

Illiteracy affects all areas of life, and has a profound impact on the future economic growth in St. Louis.  “A student who can’t read on grade level by 3rd grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time.  Add poverty to the mix, and a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time that his or her proficient, wealthier peer.” (Education Week) 

Student who can read on grade level by 3rd grade
Student who can not read on grade level by 3rd grade
Student who can not read on grade level by 3rd grade and lives in poverty

Likelihood of graduation for students who can/cannot read on grade level by the 3rd grade

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Our Story

In January, 2020, Lisa Greening and 16 primary stakeholders, started a chapter of the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading in St. Louis, Turn the Page STL.  In 2020, through a collective impact process led by UMSL's Community Innovation and Action Team, we convened hundreds of stakeholders to best understand the need, the root causes of illiteracy in St. Louis while working together to create a plan of inputs, tactics, strategies, outputs and outcomes to improve reading proficiency. Knowing that reading proficiency rates plague our entire community, Turn the Page STL is currently focusing our efforts in the Promise Zone school districts and for our black/brown children who have received a “still separate and still unequal” education.

The vision of Turn the Page STL is to  have St. Louis community with no disparities in literacy, based on race or zip code. 

Why Third Grade?

"Reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade can be make-or-break benchmark in a child's educational development.  Up until the end of third grade, most children are learning to read. Beginning in 4th grade, however, they are reading to learn, using their skills to gain more information in subjects such as math and science, to solve problems, to think critically about what they are learning, and to act upon and share that knowledge in the world around them."  Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2010.


Literacy starts at birth.  "Disparities in developmental outcomes "emerge in infancy and widen in toddlerhood.  By the time children from low-income families enter kindergarten, they are typically 12-14 months below national norms in language and pre-reading skills." Council of Chief State School Officers, 2009.

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On average, only 20% of third grade students attending a St. Louis Promise Zone School District, read at or above grade level reading. After this past year, there are projections for even lower literacy rates. 

Our Literacy Partners

2021 Board of Directors

Barbara Carswell  

YouthBridge Community Foundation


Saras Chung 


Maxine Clark 

Clark-Fox Family Foundation

Stacy Clay 

First Bank

Allie Cicotte 

Clark-Fox Family Foundation


Colby Heckendorn 

Atlas Public Schools

Colby Heckendorn 

Atlas Public Schools

Katie Kaufmann 

Missouri Foundation for Health


Debbie Marshall 

PNC Foundation

Kristen Sorth 

St. Louis County Library


Alex Stallings 

Nine Network of Public Media

2021 Advisory Council

Click for a list of Our 2020 Strategic Planning Partners

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Contact Us

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