District 150 focuses on "preparing our next generation"

By WEEK Producer

August 15, 2013 Updated Aug 15, 2013 at 6:56 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- District 150 teachers and staff are getting a pep talk before the first bell.

On Thursday, the district held its all-school event at Bradley's Renaissance Coliseum.

The theme this year is "preparing our next generation."

Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan and Generation Next Consultant Rebecca Ryan welcomed teachers and staff to the new school year and challenged them to think upstream.

Lathan set a goal for all incoming kindergartners to read at a grade level by the third grade.

She said it is a goal that needs community support.

"So instead of saying 'we want to fight drop outs' at the 10th or 11th grade level, let's go upstream,” said Ryan. “If we know that getting kids to read at grade level by 3rd grade is going to prevent dropouts, let's do it."

"This is not only a school district initiative, but also a community initiative,” said Dr. Lathan. “We need to look at the future. We need to get our students prepared. You know our goal is to have them college or career ready."

"We keep talking about education, and it sounds almost too simple, but that's what it is,” said Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis. “So we gotta start talking to parents and the people taking care of these kids not when they are in 10th or 11th grade, but where we need to start talking is to them is when they're in 3rd grade, about the importance of education, going through a certification program and being job ready.”

If your business or organization is interested in volunteering with the District as a reading or math buddy, visit www.psd150.org.

Classes begin on Monday.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.