Spotlight: Third Grade Reading

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

June 2018 – United Way’s Steps to Success framework focuses on nine critical milestones on the path to prosperity. This month, as we reach the end of the school year, we’re focusing on the Grade-level Reading by Third Grade Step.

Literacy Overview

Bekah Holbrook, United Way’s Director of Education, covers the issue of literacy from all angles in her latest blog. Read more.


Audrey Trussell, United Way’s Director of the Petersburg City and Schools Partnership, has a terrific explainer on the importance of attendance. Read more.

Teacher Prep

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.

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.

United Way proudly funds seven agencies that support third grade reading. We invite you to hear from two of them.

Peter Paul Development Center

We talked to Stephanie Bassett, Director of Education at Peter Paul Development Center, to learn about her work. Peter Paul’s Summer Promise program provides students with critical learning opportunities during the summer months. Read more.

YMCA of Greater Richmond

Betsy Peters, Senior Vice President of Youth Development of YMCA of Greater Richmond, joined us to talk about her work in supporting early literacy. Read more.

Want to support United Way’s work in education? Get involved in one of our upcoming events:

Reading for Resilience Day of Action

What: Volunteer to help children build literacy skills by reading to students and encouraging them to keep reading throughout the summer.
When: Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 9:45-11:15 a.m.
Where: Crestwood Elementary School, 7600 Whittington Drive, Richmond, VA 23225

Literacy Kit Kickoff

What: Volunteer to colelct, sort and count donated school supplies for literacy kits for young students.
When: August 3-5, 2018
Where: We’re recruiting volunteers for three sites:

Third Grade Reading: By the Numbers

Dive deep into the data about this critical issue by reading the Grade-level Reading by Third Grade section of our 2017-18 Indicators of Community Strength report (and click here to view the full report with data about all nine Steps to Success).

New Report on Summer Learning

Don’t miss United Way’s new report on summer learning programs in the Richmond region. We partnered with the National Summer Learning Association to conduct a landscape assessment of all summer learning opportunities in the area. Check it out here.