Why is third grade literacy so important anyway?
Employers struggle to find enough knowledgeable, competent and dependable workers. Many students are not prepared for postsecondary education despite earning a high school diploma. As a result, community colleges and other organizations, like trade schools, are spending significant resources (and time) on remedial coursework.
Common sense would tell us that we "just need to improve graduation rates and raise test scores," but this process of disinterest begins long before the high school years. It's a process impacted by a loss of interest and motivation in middle school, often triggered by the struggle to keep up in class. This struggle to keep up academically can, more often than not, be traced back to one key milestone in elementary school. Can you guess it?
It's third grade, of course! Reading proficiently (on grade level) can be a make-or-break benchmark in our children's educational journey. But what makes this time so critical for learning? Third grade has been identified as important to reading literacy, because it is the final year children are learning to read, after which students are reading to learn. If they are not proficient readers when they begin fourth grade, as much as half of the curriculum they will be taught will be impossible to understand.
You are your child's first teacher, best coach, and most concerned advocate. Hop in, buckle up and join us in getting the children of Cocke County "ready for college, ready for a career, ready for life".