Research shows that proficiency in reading by the end of third grade enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn, and to master the more complex subject matter they encounter in the fourth grade curriculum. Most students who fail to reach this critical milestone falter in the later grades and often drop out before earning a high school diploma. Yet two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders are not proficient readers, according to national reading assessment data. This disturbing statistic is made even worse by the fact that more than four out of every five low-income students miss this critical milestone.
WAKE Up and Read was founded on the belief that our schools, our families, and our children cannot succeed alone. In order to ensure our students are on the right track, we need engaged communities mobilized to remove barriers, expand opportunities, and assist families to serve as full partners in the success of their children. Community agencies, civic leaders, businesses, and organizations all play an important role in moving the needle for Wake County children. By focusing on three key areas critical to school success – school readiness, school attendance, and summer learning loss – we are aligning our efforts around grade level reading proficiency and childhood literacy.