Early Warning: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters: Annie E. Casey Foundation

Early Warning: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters: Annie E. Casey Foundation

In May 2010, the Annie E. Casey Foundation published a KIDS COUNT special report, Early Warning: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters, to launch the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Early Warning summarized the research basis for focusing on grade-level reading proficiency as an essential step toward increasing the number of children who succeed academically, graduate from high school on time and do well in life and the workforce. In 2013, they revisited the issues and arguments raised in that report to see whether newer research continues to support the Campaign’s assumptions and whether other findings have emerged that refine our understanding of what it will take to get more children, especially those from low-income families, reading at grade level by the end of third grade. Their follow-up report by Leila Fiester, Early Warning Confirmed: A Research Update on Third-Grade Reading, found that the newest research reaffirms Early Warning’s premises and heightens the sense of urgency around third grade reading proficiency.

In these reports, you’ll learn:

  • why reading by fourth grade is critical to our economy.
  • what social factors contribute to kids not reading on time.
  • what collective and cumulative efforts can help kids read proficiently.
  • how we can make 3rd grade reading levels a national priority.
  • how poverty affects kids’ ability to learn in the early grades.
  • how school readiness and reading well predict future success.
  • 5 factors that contribute to student achievement in reading.

Key 3rd Grade Literacy Takeaway

“There are 7.9 million low-income children, birth through age 8 in the United States. If current trends hold true, 83%, or 6.6 million of these children, are at increased risk of dropping out of high school because they can’t read proficiently by the end of third grade. Every student who does not complete high school costs our society an estimated $260,000 in lost earnings, taxes and productivity.”

Click here to download the full report.

Click here to read the follow-up Executive Summary.

At Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation, our early literacy mission is driven by a long-term goal to increase 3rd grade reading proficiency in Tennessee.

Research shows that our key programs support positive impacts on a child’s vocabulary development, school readiness and reading skills into 3rd grade. Our vision is a Tennessee where all children have access to the resources, guidance and support they need to become lifelong learners.

To invest in our efforts to strengthen early literacy and build lifelong learners in Tennessee