The Purpose of READ to SUCCEED

This grassroots campaign will accelerate the community toward United Way of Central Iowa’s goal to increase the number of third-grade students who read proficiently.

READ to SUCCEED focuses on school readiness, parent/caregiver engagement, summer reading loss and enriching out-of-school time programs.

The Importance of Early Grade Reading Proficiency

  • Third grade is crucial for children.

From Kindergarten to third grade, kids are learning to read. After third grade, they must read to learn. If students do not build these skills in time, they will likely have a more difficult time succeeding in school. 

  • Children who gain proficient reading skills early are set up for future success. 

Studies show that children who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers.

The futures of many Iowa children will suffer if efforts are not made now. More than 20 percent of third graders in Iowa are not reading at grade level. In the last school year, there were  more than 1,500 third graders who were not proficient in reading in central Iowa school districts.

  • The ability to read affects a child’s success later in life. 

Two-thirds of the ninth-grade reading achievement gap can be attributed to summer learning loss during elementary school. The ability to read proficiently by the end of third grade is the strongest predictor of high school graduation and career success.

If children who cannot read proficiently are struggling to succeed in school, they will also likely have a hard time finding living wage employment or establishing a stable career.