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The Challenge

The key to a child’s success in school is to be able to read.  But only 40% of Rhode Island children are able to read on grade-level by the end of third grade.  We must do better.


The Goal

By 2025, we will double the number of Rhode Island third graders reading at grade-level.


Why It’s Important

The fourth grade is when children switch from learning to read to reading to learn.  If children are not reading by the end of third grade, it makes it harder for them to keep up and catch up in school.  Research shows that children who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.


The Campaign

United Way of Rhode Island and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT are proud to lead Rhode Island Reads: The Campaign for Third-Grade Reading.  The campaign connects people, organizations, businesses, and communities around the shared goal of doubling the number of 3rd graders reading on grade-level by 2025.


The campaign focuses on four key areas to move us closer to our goal:

  • School Readiness: making sure children get what they need to establish a strong foundation for learning from birth through age 5

  • Summer Learning: making sure children don’t fall behind during the summer months, when they are not in school.

  • Chronic Absence: making sure children come to school every day, because a child can’t learn if they are not in school.

  • Learning to Read: making sure children have the tools they need in school and at home to succeed.

Rhode Island Reads Partner Convening

  • On Monday, December 10, 2018, United Way of Rhode Island and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT hosted the Rhode Island Reads Partner Meeting, attended by state and community leaders. 

  • On Thursday, November 2, 2017, Rhode Island Reads welcomed state leaders and community partners to the Rhode Island College to discuss strategies to improve 3rd grade reading success. Please see our event pictures!

    • Please click here to review the November 2 Partner Meeting presentation, including the Rhode Island Reads data dashboard of school readiness, chronic absence, and summer learning indicators that contribute to improved 3rd grade reading proficiency.  The data dashboard will evolve over time and be updated periodically.

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