Ms Dugdale said closing the literacy gap between rich and poor should go beyond the classroom ahead of a visit to a Stirling primary school today.
St Ninian’s Primary School has a walking club which encourages children to walk a mile a day and Ms Dugdale has pledged to go “the extra mile” for children.
“Half of poor kids leave primary unable to read properly,” she said.
“That’s a national disgrace and needs a national effort to tackle it. We need to use every tool at our disposal.
“That means looking outside the classroom at health, family life and the literacy of parents.
“We know that kids who are healthier, happier and in better homes are more likely to do well at school.
“That’s why closing the attainment gap between the rich and the rest isn’t just about what happens in the classroom, and schemes like the daily mile are so important.
“The children in Scotland’s classrooms are our greatest resource, investing in them will pay off for decades to come. It’s the path to a stronger Scotland and a fairer nation.”