State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that the university system is partnering with Read Aloud 15 Minutes, a national organization that works with schools and communities to increase the time parents spend reading to children.

“As children across the country start school this week, more than one-third of kindergarteners are underprepared, a factor that can affect their ability to learn at every stage of their education,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “SUNY’s partnership with Read Aloud will complement our work to mend New York’s education pipeline and ensure that more of today’s youth are on the right path for success throughout school, and ultimately in college and career.”

Read Aloud Executive Director Bob Robbins said, “We are excited to have SUNY help parents with young children throughout New York State join our growing league of academic scholars, business leaders, government officials, day care workers, teachers, community workers, parents, and friends who are working to make reading aloud for 15 minutes every day, starting at birth, a parenting standard. Together, we will help more children begin kindergarten ready to learn, get the most out of their education, and become productive citizens.”

Read Aloud partners are united behind the idea that 15 minutes of daily reading aloud from birth to age 8 can change the face of education, nationally. In partnering with Read Aloud, SUNY campuses throughout New York are reaching out to community groups, early childhood education providers, and schools to encourage them to join the Read Aloud movement.

According to Read Aloud:

  • Reading aloud is the single most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning.
  • Nationally, 37% of children arrive in kindergarten without the skills necessary to begin their learning journey.
  • If a child is not reading at grade level by the end of the first grade, then there is an 88% probability the child will not be reading at grade level by the end of the fourth grade.
  • Even in higher-income households, nearly 40% of families do not read aloud every day.
  • More than half the children in this country — 13 million children — will not hear a bedtime story tonight.

Additional information about SUNY’s partnership with Read Aloud is available at:

Since the launch of its strategic plan, The Power of SUNY, in 2010, the university system has expanded the number of cradle-to-career communities across New York as it helps to build a seamless education pipeline for New York in which every child gets the support they need in and out of school. SUNY’s partnership with Read Aloud is another example of how higher education can lead the way in improving outcomes for all students.