What Works For Third Grade Reading; New Resource Outlines Research-Based Policies, Practices And Programs




A groundbreaking new resource offers research-based policy, practice and program options to states and communities working to improve third grade reading proficiency. What Works for Third Grade Reading is a collection of 12 working papers that address whole-child, birth-to-age-eight factors that support children’s optimal development and improve reading proficiency.

The working papers are a resource for states and communities to:

  • Learn the research and evidence base around what works in key areas that impact third grade reading
  • Organize collaborative work around measures that impact third grade reading proficiency and consider how those measures—and therefore the strategies to address them—are interconnected
  • Understand a variety of policy, practice, program and capacity-building options that have been used in communities across the country to improve outcomes for young children and families

What Works for Third Grade Reading was produced by the Institute for Child Success and the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, in collaboration with BEST NC, to support the work of the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading (Pathways) initiative. Pathways is bringing together diverse leaders working across disciplines, sectors, systems, and political ideologies to define a common vision, shared measures of success and coordinated strategies that support children’s optimal development beginning at birth. Pathways is an initiative of the NC Early Childhood Foundation in collaboration with NC Child, the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., and BEST NC.

In North Carolina, only 38 percent of all fourth graders and only 25 percent of fourth graders from economically disadvantaged families scored at or above reading proficiency in 2015, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. (NAEP). Reading well in the early grades predicts a child’s academic and career success. To address this challenge, North Carolina launched NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading.

The working papers focus on 12 factors that have been shown by research to impact children’s reading proficiency at third grade.

Health and Development on Track, Beginning at Birth

  • Healthy Birthweight
  • Early Intervention
  • Social-Emotional Health
  • Physical Health

Supported and Supportive Families and Communities

  • Formal and Informal Family Supports
  • Safe at Home
  • Positive Parent-Child Interactions
  • Reading with Children

High Quality Birth-through-age-Eight Learning Environments with Regular Attendance

  • High Quality Birth-through-age-Eight
    Early Care and Education
  • Promotion to Next Grade
  • Summer Learning
  • Regular Attendance

These papers are a work in progress. NCECF is still working to make the extensive research in the papers easily communicable to diverse stakeholders. At the same time, it is eager to share this information with communities and states across the country. Given those competing priorities, NCECF is making the papers available now marked DRAFT. They will be re-released as FINAL in the fall of 2017 and will be made available on the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation website at www.buildthefoundation.org.

The working papers were authored by Janice M. Gruendel, Ph.D., Institute for Child Success; Mandy Ableidinger, North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation; and Keller Anne Ruble, Institute for Child Success.

The papers are online at: http://buildthefoundation.org/pathways-working-papers/. Follow #bthru8pathways on Twitter to learn more and receive updates.

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