Education / Academic Success / Early Childhood Literacy


Early Childhood Literacy


The years before Kindergarten are critical for the healthy development of a child’s mind, body, capacity to learn later in life. Experts categorize preparation for Kindergarten into five areas:1

  • Cognitive development
  • Social and emotional development
  • Health and physical development
  • Language development, communication, and literacy skills
  • Approaches or foundations to learning

Currently, measurable data is only available in the language development, communications, and literacy skills area. Many children enter Kindergarten without the skills necessary to excel in reading and are at risk of falling behind their peers. The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) is an assessment given to all incoming Kindergartners that measures literacy skills. DIBELS defines students who meet benchmark as those who are at little or no risk of falling behind in reading.

The data dashboard below shows current and recent trend data for students meeting DIBELS benchmark in Forsyth County.

Dashboard: Students Meeting DIBELS Benchmark

Understanding Students Meeting DIBELS Benchmark Spatially

The map below visualizes the percentage of students meeting DIBELS benchmark by elementary school zones code across Forsyth County.

Key Point: Percentage of All Students Meeting DIBELS Benchmark is Decreasing

  • All students meeting DIBELS benchmark decreased 8% over five years (2013-18)

Key Point: Disparities Present in DIBELS Outcome Benchmark by Race/Ethnicity

  • In 2017-18, African American students were 10% less likely to meet DIBELS benchmark than white students.
  • In 2017-18, Hispanic / Latino students were about half as likely to meet DIBELS benchmark as white students.
  • White students meeting DIBELS benchmark declined 10% over four years; Hispanic / Latino students meeting DIBELS benchmark declined 7% over four years.
Notes on Data

If you are interested in using data from this report for rigorous purposes, please contact for a consultation on how best to proceed.

Literature References
  1. North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Foundations: Early Learning Standards for North Carolina Preschoolers and Strategies for Guiding Their Success. Retrieved from
Data Sources

Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Schools