Kennewick, WA- The Washington State attorney general says kids who can read are more likely to stay out of trouble.
Rob McKenna spoke to more than 200 people at today's Read To Lead breakfast at the Three Rivers Convention Center. The breakfast raised money to support the Children's Reading Foundation of the Mid Columbia.
The attorney general, who's been advocating a crackdown on street gangs, says one of the keys to reducing gang violence is having kids succeed in school.
"Children who move through the grades and can't read or read below grade level are a lot likelier to drop out, experience social difficulties and therefore are more likely to be attracted to the wrong lifestyle," McKenna says. "So it's great for the community to make sure every child can read at grade level."
The state legislature is considering McKenna's proposal to spend more money on fighting street gangs as well as increasing jail time for known gang members who commit crimes.