New Resources from the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation: What Works for Third Grade Reading

The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) has released a groundbreaking new resource for the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Initiative: What Works for Third Grade ReadingThis collection of working papers addresses whole-child, birth-to-age-eight factors that move the needle on children’s reading proficiency at third grade and offers research-based policy, practice and program options that can make progress on those factors. Specifically, the working papers address 12 of the North Carolina Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Initiative’s Measures of Success. There are four working papers in each of three Pathways goals areas:
  • Health and Development on Track, Beginning at Birth
  • Supported and Supportive Families and Communities
  • High Quality Birth-through-age-Eight Learning Environments with Regular Attendance

Each working paper details why the Pathways measure matters for third-grade reading, outlines how it is connected to the other Pathways Measures of Success, defines relevant terms and offers national research-based options that can impact the measure, including polices (federal, state legislative, state departmental, and local), practices (protocols to implement policies, some which might be driving good outcomes, and some which might be obstacles to improving outcomes), and programs and capacities (provider capacity, parent capacity, public understanding and will-building, and array of quality programs to move the measures). All sources are cited.

The working papers will be used as resources for the Pathways Design Teams as they work to create policy, practice and capacity-building agendas in the prioritized areas of work. The papers are also a resource for states and communities to:
  • Learn the research and evidence base around what works in key areas that impact third grade reading
  • Organize collaborative work around measures that impact third grade reading proficiency and consider how those measures—and therefore the strategies to address them—are interconnected
  • Understand a variety of policy, practice, program and capacity-building options that have been used in communities across the country to improve outcomes for young children and families

While these papers are still a work in progress, NCECF is eager to share this information and is releasing them now in draft form.

You can find the papers online at: Follow #bthru8pathways on Twitter to learn more and receive updates.

What Works for Third Grade Reading was produced by the Institute for Child Success and the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, in collaboration with BEST NC, to support the work of the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading (Pathways) initiative. The papers were authored by Janice M. Gruendel, Ph.D., Institute for Child Success; Mandy Ableidinger, North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation; and Keller Anne Ruble, Institute for Child Success.