Reading is a critical predictor of high school success—or failure. This is because children are learning to read until fourth grade; after that, they are reading to learn. In later grades, coursework gets harder, reading becomes more challenging, and those with reading troubles have difﬁculty coping. This can lead to bad grades, bad behavior, “checking out” from school – and eventually dropping out.
For children to become strong readers, they need a print-rich environment. Ideally, their parents and caregivers surround them at an early age with books; use the local library regularly; and read with them daily. Starting in kindergarten, children learn the skills they need to sound out new words and ﬁnd meaning in written text. By third grade, they may be reading chapter books to their parents, and are hopefully developing a love of reading that promotes future learning. By fourth grade, their strong reading skills are supporting increasingly harder academic work. Reading skills build a strong foundation for academic success and high school graduation. These successful readers will better understand the world around them, and will be able to use those skills to succeed in a demanding workplace and to be a fully engaged citizen.
How We're Changing the Story:
What YOUR gifts made possible in 2017:
- 66 Third-Grade students receiving after-school tutoring to help raise their reading and math scores. 83% increased their proficiency in reading; 97% increased their proficiency in math
- 88 youth participated in a structured out-of-school program; 90% demonstrated improved reading and literacy skills
- 22 Reading Buddies spent over 300 hours reading in classrooms with students