The Early Literacy Initiative
About the Early Literacy Initiative
The early literacy initiative provides educators, administrators, policymakers, and community stakeholders with basic information about the importance of effective reading instruction in the early grades and focuses on the steps schools might take to ensure that students receive the supports they need to read on grade level by third grade. This site will showcase tools and resources to help educators and communities improve reading instruction.
The end of third grade is the point at which children transition from learning to read to utilizing reading skills to understand the content of all subject areas. Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 2015) demonstrate that far too many students in the U.S. are not acquiring the knowledge and skills to become proficient readers, and that there are wide disparities in reading proficiency between students of color and their peers as well as students with disabilities and their peers.
Performance on the fourth-grade reading assessment indicated that 81% of Black students, 78% of Hispanic students, and 78% of American Indian or Alaska Native students scored below proficiency.
Of fourth grade students with disabilities, 90% scored below proficiency on the reading assessment.