Why Third Grade Reading?

Students who can read proficiently at the end of third grade have a strong foundation for future learning and success in school. 

Ensuring that our students meet this critical milestone keeps them on the path to high school graduation and career success. By reaching children early on, our community will go a long way toward closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates and breaking the cycle of poverty.

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Moving the needle on third grade reading will require a community effort.

While teaching reading is the work of schools, schools cannot succeed on their own. Students must have access to quality early learning experiences that prepare them to enter school ready to learn. Barriers to attendance must be removed so students can fully access and engage in their learning. Students must be immersed in literacy rich environments when out of school – through after school and summer programming and at home.

School Readiness

Children are set up for success when they enter school prepared to learn.

Research shows that learning begins long before a child enters kindergarten. Children, even infants soak up words, rhymes, songs, and images. Vocabulary development is particularly important.

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School Attendance

Good school attendance maximizes learning and helps students stay on track.

Every year, one in 10 kindergarten and 1st grade students misses a month of school with excused and unexcused absences. Research shows these absences can affect academic achievement, especially for low-income students. They can leave children unable to read well by the end of 3rd grade, exacerbating the achievement gap.

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Summer Learning

Engaging educational opportunities over the break prevent summer slide.

Research spanning 100 years has proven that students lose ground academically when they are out of school for the summer. The problem is particularly acute among low-income students who lose an average of more than two months in reading achievement in the summer, which slows their progress toward third grade reading proficiency. And it exacerbates the achievement gap with their middle-class peers.

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Family Engagement

Parents are their children's first teachers and most important advocates.

Parents are the first and most important teachers in their children’s lives. Research shows that students are most successful academically and socially when their parents are involved and engaged in their learning. There is no set of policies that will replace parents’ role in their children’s education.

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