EARLY GRADE SUCCESS

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FROM LEARNING TO READ TO READING TO LEARN

Early Grade Excellence is critical to a child's future success. Before the third grade, children are learning to read. After that, they are reading to learn. If they aren't reading proficiently at the third grade level, they may have challenges when they transition to reading to learn and may be less likely to graduate.

OUR GOAL

Increase the number of children reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade from 75 percent to 90 percent.

KEY TARGETS

  • All children will have easy access to books and opportunities to be read to, and for independent reading
  • All children will have easy access to summer enrichment and learning activities to stop the ‘summer slide’
  • Tutors will be available for children who need them

WHY IT MATTERS

 

HOW WE WILL DO IT

In addition to funding programs that align with our goals through our three-year funding cycle, we are also partnering on the following efforts:

GRADE LEVEL READING

As a co-lead in the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, we are making progress towards our goal of all third graders reading proficiently. Using this framework, we convene and facilitate a collaboration made up of youth serving organizations, foundations, school districts, parks departments, museums, libraries, universities, and individuals to improve and align our work and organize our responses so that children are reading proficiently by the end of third grade.

SUMMER LEARNING

When school ends, the learning shouldn't. United Way partners with local organizations to provide opportunities to summer learning for kids who are at risk of losing what they learn through the "summer slide". We help maintain the Summer Learning web site to provide opportunities county-wide. Find an opportunity now on the Summer Learning web site.

TUTORING

United Way's Volunteer Center connects volunteers who are interested in tutoring students in math and reading with local opportunities. Sign up now to be a tutor.

LITTLE LIBRARIES

Access to books is one of the main barriers keeping low-income kids from reading at grade level. United Way volunteers built 23 Little Free Libraries in 2015, giving kids access to free books. Get tips on building your own Little Library.

POWER PACKS

Its hard to learn when you are hungry. United Way partners to provide more kids who rely on the free and reduced lunch program with Power Packs, giving them access to food over the weekend and during school breaks. READ MORE

WORKING COLLABORATIVELY

United Way believes that change happens when communities work together. We bring people together to make a real difference in the issues the community cares about. We are currently working in collaboration with the following to address issues around third grade reading: 

Campaign for Grade-Level Reading – Partnering with Foundation for Tacoma Students and others to increase and build reading skills and capability of children.
 
Expanded Learning Collaboration – Joining with others to provide high quality summer programs to eliminate the ‘summer slide’.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

To reach our goals, we need your help. There are many ways you can get involved: