Members of a Children's Summit decided Friday they will focus on increasing the number of third-graders who read at grade level.
The 420 people at the summit had three issues -- infant mortality, grade-level reading and college and career readiness -- presented to them for discussion.
Reading improvement was narrowly chosen over decreasing infant mortality, which has reached 27.3% for black infants in Fresno County.
More people felt they could "easily see how they could connect" to efforts to increase reading at grade level, said Linda Gleason of The Children's Movement, a grassroots organization and one of the organizers of the summit. Reading at grade level has been tied to success in school and later in life, a reduction in truancy, drop out rates and crime.
The group meets next on Nov. 8 to organize work groups around the goal of improving reading achievement, Gleason said. The public will be invited.