Success by Third Grade:
Ensuring every child in Franklin County is on a pathway to success by the end of third grade
Half of Franklin County’s children live in districts where third grade reading proficiency is below standard. This is a major concern because our youngest learners are tomorrow’s workforce and leaders. Our community will face unprecedented unemployment and poverty if we do not address the core issues impacting third grade reading proficiency.
The impacts of COVID on learning are evidenced by the significant decrease in the Ohio Department of Education’s Third Grade English Language Arts Assessment reading scores compared to pre-COVID assessment scores.
In the 2020-2021 school year, the percentage of Franklin County third graders who did not pass the English Language Arts Assessment ranged from 38% in the Westerville City School District to 77% in the Columbus City School District. Seventy-four percent of Whitehall School District students did not pass Ohio’s third grade reading assessment. Improving third grade literacy is imperative to breaking the cycle of poverty. Improving third grade literacy positions children for academic success, post-secondary education and/or household sustaining employment.
Reading proficiently by the end of third grade is the greatest predictor of high school graduation. Students not proficient in reading by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school. Failure to obtain a diploma is inextricably connected to poverty. Without a high school diploma, young adults face extremely bleak economic and social prospects. Compared to high school graduates, they are less likely to find a job and earn a living wage, and more likely to slip into poverty and suffer from adverse health outcomes.
Success by Third Grade is a communitywide movement focused on ensuring that Franklin County children read proficiently by the end of third grade. Success by Third Grade mobilizes parents/caregivers, students, educators, government, nonprofits and the corporate community to work together to change the educational trajectory of kindergarten through third grade students in Franklin County school districts.
Success by Third Grade strives to improve the intellectual capital of children in K-third grade so they can graduate from high school and become vibrant leaders in our community. Success by Third Grade focuses on three areas that contribute to academic success: health and well-being; home and family stability; and a safe and supported school environment.