Why Reading Well Matters

Why Reading Well by 3rd Grade Matters

Goal: Every child can read well by the end of third grade.
Trackable Milestone: 3rd Grade Reading Test


Moving from 3rd to 4th grade is a big deal!

It means going from learning to read, to using reading for all subjects. Reading well is important because it helps kids do better in their other classes. But imagine, if it’s tricky to read by the time we’re in 4th grade—it could make school tough, and we might not finish high school or find cool jobs later on. Kids who struggle with reading in 3rd grade are four times more likely not to finish high school by the time they’re 19.

Here in Brown County, the number of kids reading well has been going down, even before COVID-19.

Back in the 2016-2017 school year, 41% of students here were reading great.
Fast forward to the most recent 2020-2021 school year, and that number dropped by 14%, with only 27% of kids reading as well as they should in the 3rd grade.

Now, let’s check out how different groups of kids are doing.

There’s a big difference between Latino kids and white kids in reading—31.3% to be exact.
And, no matter how we look at it, none of the groups of kids are close in how well they’re reading—there’s at least a 16% difference.

So, we need to make sure all kids have the same chances to read well and do awesome in school.

Discover what we’re doing to boost reading skills and close these gaps.

Data that shows how we are doing at reading well.

3rd Grade Forward Exam English Language Arts (ELA) by Race and Gender

3rd Grade Forward Exam English Language Arts (ELA) Below Basic and Basic