3rd Grade Reading Initiative

Aware that third grade reading proficiency is a predictor of high school graduation, UWEPC has executed efforts to increase the percentage of 3rd graders reading at grade level to ensure more of our youth graduate from high school and graduate on time. 




In 2013, UWEPC launched a new 3rd Grade Reading Initiative that focuses on priority areas based on research from the Annie E. Casey Foundation for reading proficiency: the readiness gap and the summer slide (summer learning loss). The initiative focuses not only on strategies to increase the percentage of third graders reading at grade level, but in a broader scope to encourage activities that promote life-long learning and all forms of education across the cradle to career continuum. 




Many children from low-income familes begin school far behind their middle-class counterpart. They are less likely to be read to regularly or participate in high-quality early care and pre-kindergarten programs. As a result, these children hear as many as 30 million fewer words than their middle-income peers before reaching kindergarten. 




Without access to enriching activities available to their more affluent peers, too many low-income children lose ground over the summer months. Research points out children lose as much as three months of reading comprehension skills during the summer. By the end of fifth grade, they are nearly three grade levels behind. 



  • Between 2015 and 2016, UWEPC has distributed more than 1,600 books to children. 
  • During the summer of 2015, UWEPC hosted six summer reading programs that included storytime, crafts and free books. 
  • Since launching the 3rd Grade Reading Initiative, UWEPC has hosted 16 kindergarten bootcamps that better improve a child's reading skills. 





Community Engagement Coordinator 

(915) 533 - 2434 ext. 228


The 3rd Grade Reading Initiative is made possible in part by a generous grant from Wells Fargo.