top of page
Teacher and Kids in Library


Library Bookshelves

Why Reading Matters

Reading is a fundamental skill that opens the door to lifelong success. Research highlights a strong correlation between basic reading skills and effective learning, access to higher education, and overall success as a productive member of society.


Early literacy instruction sets the foundation for academic achievement. Since more than 85% of curricula are taught by reading, children need strong foundational literacy skills to promote learning across ALL subjects. 

In 2022, 44% of public school 3rd graders scored below grade level in reading.

Our community is facing a dire challenge. In 2023, 48% of Miami-Dade County public school 3rd graders scored below proficient in reading, and by this grade, 3 out of 4 lagging readers never catch up. Children who do not read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school (1). Poverty compounds the issue: children living at or below the poverty line have lower reading scores than their peers and are therefore at an even higher risk.

The solution to overcoming this problem is clear: it can be changed through effective reading interventions for our children.


Research shows robust early literacy impacts student behavior and emotional development, boosts academic achievement, increases graduation rates, and results in a more successful adult life. Improving literacy will break the cycle of poverty, improve overall health, and amplify economic development benefitting society as a whole (2).


At Uplift Literacy, we strive to ensure that all children have equal access to quality reading instruction and resources to eliminate the reading gap and improve academic outcomes and future successes. Every child has the right to learn how to read.


Reading matters! Together, we can make a difference. 

National Assessment of Educational Progress Data shows that 35% of 4th graders in the United States performed below a basic level in reading.

“Proficient 3rd-grade readers were nearly five times more likely to graduate high school than their peers with below-basic-reading skills.”

More than 43 million Americans do not read above a 3rd grade level. 


  1. Hernandez, D. J. (2012). Double jeopardy: How third-grade reading skills and poverty influence high school graduation. Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

  2. Diallo, A. (2020, May 28). Improving Literacy in the United States: Recommendations for Increasing Reading Success. Center for American Progress.

  3. Lesnick, J., Goerge, R., Smithgall, C., & Gwynne, J. (2010). Reading on grade level in third grade: How is it related to high school performance and college enrollment?Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

  4. Lesaux, N. (2022). Third Grade Reading Success Matters. Reading Foundation.

  5. ProLiteracy Annual Statistical Report. (2021, January).

  6. U.S. Dept of Education. (2019, July). Adult Literacy in the United States. Adult literacy in the United States. Retrieved June 1, 2022, from 

bottom of page