Third Grade Reading Success

All children need to learn to read! Reading is the most crucial academic skill because it is the foundation for learning. Through third grade children are learning to read; after third grade they are reading to learn.

90% Reading Goal

The Children’s Reading Foundation encourages school districts and communities to adopt the goal that 90 percent of students will read at or above grade level by the end of third grade. This goal ensures students in kindergarten, first, second, and third grades master basic literacy skills as they progress through their school years. It is not an easy goal, but it is essential and can be done.

A Success Story

When Kennewick (Washington) School District set this goal in 1996, only 55 percent of third graders were reading at grade level. It took 10 years to reach the goal, but they did it. Here’s how:

  • The School Board of Directors and Superintendent set a clear and measurable 90 percent reading goal.
  • Educators identified strategies and resources; instructional time and priorities were realigned accordingly.
  • Families and community members were engaged by emphasizing the importance of reading with children 20 minutes every day from birth through third grade.

Detailed information about Kennewick’s process is presented in two books: “The 90% Reading Goal” and “Annual Growth, Catchup Growth

Most Reading Problems Are Preventable

The simple act of reading with a child daily has the potential to significantly reduce the school achievement gap and remediation expenses for K-12 students. Communities with a chapter of The Children’s Reading Foundation leverage the power of parents and caregivers to nurture strong readers!

Additional Resources

READY! for Kindergarten

The READY! for Kindergarten® school readiness program empowers parents and caregivers to succeed in their role as children’s first and most influential teachers. 

The 90% Reading Goal

The details and specifics of how the Kennewick School District achieved its 90 percent goal.

Conquering the School Readiness Gap

Every year 40 percent of children walk into kindergarten one to three years behind. There is something you can do about it.