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My Brother's Keeper Alliance

Young boys studying at NACA Inspired Schools

Milestone 2: Reading at Grade level by Third Grade

All children should be reading at grade level by the end of third grade — the time at which reading to learn, and not just learning to read, becomes essential.

Reading well at an early age is essential to later success in education, employment, and life. Students who are not reading at proficient levels by the end of third grade are more likely to struggle throughout their school years, which in turn leads to higher dropout rates and fewer students being college and career ready. Increasing proficiency rates and closing the achievement gap are among the most persistent educational challenges we face. Making significant progress for all children is more likely when families, schools, and communities work as partners to share the responsibility for all children reading on grade level by the end of third grade.

To drive real change in our community, we must seek opportunities to:

  • Promote Family-School-Community Partnerships to Support Joint Book Reading and In-Home Literacy

  • Bring Successful Evidence-Based Practices to Scale

Key Principles

1. To thrive, all children must receive high-quality, evidence informed, and continuous support for active learning. To ensure that we move the needle on child outcomes and the quality of instruction in the classroom, we must invest in support for intensive and effective professional development to early educators responsible for the education of young children.

2. Family involvement is a critical element of high-quality early care and education. Meaningful parent / family engagement in children’s early learning supports school readiness and academic success in the early


3. Libraries and community-based organizations are an important component of a community’s educational efforts to promote early literacy by assisting teachers and parents in stimulating early brain development, while enhancing education, the workforce, and local businesses by providing literacy programs for youth and their parents.

4. Evidence-based instruction is critical for ensuring that students are properly equipped with the reading skills they need to succeed.


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6 Milestones

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