Back-to-School: Third Grade Reading

Kids who are reading proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to graduate high school on time.

Up to third grade, kids learn to read. After third grade, they read to learn. When it comes to literacy, third grade is where the rubber meets the road. A student who is reading at grade level by third grade is significantly more likely to succeed in later grades and graduate high school on time.

Unfortunately, one in four kids in our region is not reading proficiently by third grade. In areas of high poverty, the third grade reading SOL pass rate is as low as 61 percent, compared to the state average of 75.6 percent.

This school year, learn more about early literacy, support United Way and help ensure all of our region’s elementary-age students are reading at grade level.

Preparing for a New School Year: Elementary School

We talked to Shelby Bartilotti, an Exceptional Education Teacher at Bellwood Elementary School in North Chesterfield, to learn about ways parents and families can help their elementary-age student prepare for a successful start to the school year. Read more.

Steps to a Successful School Year: Elementary School

What makes early literacy so important? What is United Way doing to support students, schools and communities? Learn more in our four-part series covering everything from pre-K to high school graduation!

Solving the Attendance Equation

Audrey Trussell, United Way’s Vice President of Community Impact, has a terrific explainer on the importance of attendance. Read more.

Literacy Tips for Families

The path to literacy begins at home. How can parents and families help a child learn to read? What should they do if their child is struggling? We talked to Tanya Elliott, a Title I Reading Specialist at Byrd Elementary School in Goochland County, to find out. Read more.

Teacher Prep Q&A

As students prepare to read, how do educators prepare to teach? We talked to VCU’s Joan Rhodes to find out how teachers learn about literacy instruction. Read more.

Supported Agencies

Hear from leaders at our funded agencies that support the Third Grade Reading Step.

Third Grade Reading: By the Numbers

Our new online data hub tracks data related to third grade reading. Indicators include third grade reading SOL scores and chronic absenteeism. Learn more and see how our region is doing.