Why third grade
The end of third grade marks a key transition, where children shift from learning to read and are expected to read to learn. We know if children don’t read well by that point they are less likely to catch up, less likely to graduate from high school and less likely to find a good job. In fact, 74 percent of students who do not meet this mark falter in later grades and drop out before earning a high school diploma. By reaching children early on, our community can go a long way toward closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates and breaking the pernicious cycle of poverty.
Additional reading on why reading by third grade is so important:
- Double Jeopardy, How Third Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation. A study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
- States Push Reading Proficiency By Third Grade, article from USA Today, November 15, 2013