Helping Kids Learn to Read, So They Can “Read to Learn” by 3rd Grade

“…from kindergarten to 3rd grade a child learns to read. From 3rd grade on a child reads to learn.”

Tomorrow I am going to a training session to start my second year as an Education Connection literacy partner or “reading buddy” for the rest of the school year, spending 30 minutes a week helping students learn to read on grade level by 3rd grade.

This is a huge deal to me. I have always been able to read to learn. I can’t imagine how my life would be without the ability to educate myself efficiently through reading. I didn’t have to imagine the struggle however, my highly-intelligent little brother, Michael, struggled with reading, and it made things hard. Sometimes I do things in my volunteering to honor my little brother’s memory, things I think he would care about. Education Connection, helping little kids get better at reading, is one of those things.

This program is a whole school year commitment, helping 2 students learn to read… 30 minutes a week… but consistent, and real test results in the schools served say: EFFECTIVE!

Here’s a little more about the Education Connection program if you’re interested:

Leaders in education research for Central Texas identified 3rd grade literacy as one of four systemic problems facing our community. Research identified that from kindergarten to 3rd grade a child learns to read. From 3rd grade on a child reads to learn. If a child is behind grade level at the end of 3rd grade his/her academic and economic future is not promising.

With over 200 elementary schools located in Greater Austin, the need to reach every at-risk child is great. As a faith based community, we have an opportunity to partner a church with each school, reading to children one-on-one, while supporting educators as they help children to learn and grow. So far, 90+ churches and school partnerships have started in the Greater Austin area with hundreds of literacy partners and mentors already beginning to make a difference in the lives of children.

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