Posts Tagged ‘’


March 9, 2011

I would like to share with you some great insights from the The Annie E. Casey Foundation: Make Reading by the End of Third Grade a National Priority.


Two out of every three fourth graders overall are not proficient in reading according to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Worse, four of five fourth graders from
low-income families are also not proficient in reading. The failure to help children from low-income families reach this milestone cements educational failure and poverty into the next generation. The Annie E. Casey Foundation is focusing attention on the critical importance of achieving grade-level reading proficiency for all children by the end of third grade. The ability to read is central to a child’s success in school, life-long earning potential, and the ability to contribute to the nation’s economy and its security.

This call for a renewed emphasis on reading success is introduced by a special KIDS COUNT report, Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters, and is supported by a broad coalition including, America’s Promise Alliance, Mission: Readiness, and United Way Worldwide.

“Until third grade, children are learning to read. After third grade, they also are reading to learn. When kids are not reading by fourth grade, they almost certainly get on a glide path to poverty,” said Ralph Smith, Executive Vice President of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “Poor reading test scores are profoundly disappointing to all of us who see school success and high school graduation as beacons in the battle against intergenerational poverty.”

Recognizing these and other challenges, the Casey Foundation’s Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters has identified four steps to close the gap and raise the bar:
1. Develop a coherent system of early care and education that aligns, integrates, and coordinates what happens from birth through third grade so children are ready to take on the learning tasks associated with fourth grade and beyond.
2. Encourage and enable parents, families, and caregivers to play their indispensable roles as co-producers of good outcomes for their children.
3. Prioritize, support, and invest in results-driven initiatives to transform low-performing schools into high-quality teaching and learning environments in which all children, including those from low-income families and high-poverty neighborhoods, are present, engaged, and educated to high standards.
4. Develop and utilize solutions to two of the most significant contributors to the under-achievement of children from low-income families—chronic absence from school and summer learning loss.

“Because grade-level reading is such a strong predictor of future problems, philanthropy is putting a stake in the ground on ensuring that children are able to read at grade level by the end of third grade,” said Michael L. Eskew, Casey Board Chair and former CEO of UPS. “The research is clear and compelling. And it affirms what common sense tells us. In a knowledge-dependent world and global economy, no city, no region, no nation — including our own — can compete successfully without attending to the basics. And that starts with reading.”

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization, whose primary mission is to foster public policies, human-service reforms, and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today’s vulnerable children and families. For more information, visit

Optiminds can help your child achieve better reading results.



%d bloggers like this: