Ready to Read

What we know: Too many kids are struggling to read. The Ohio Department of Education reports that forty percent of third-grade students in Ohio do not read at grade level. In some Lucas County districts, that rate is as high as 60 percent.

How did this happen? Disruptions to school due to the pandemic have definitely hurt some students. However, signs of declining reading achievement were building before the pandemic. We are learning that the way many students have been taught to read over the past 20 years is proving to be unsuccessful.

Why does it matter? Without strong reading skills, students are more likely to struggle both academically and socially. Students who struggle to read are more likely to have discipline issues and be chronically absent and less likely to meet important outcomes such as high school graduation. Knowing the link between reading and future achievement, we must do everything we can to help kids become great readers.

What can we do? The good news is that we have a body of scientific research about how kids learn to read. The research shows there are two important skills that all kids need to learn to become good readers.

  • Decoding: This skill, also known as phonics or the ability to sound out words, is crucial for reading proficiency.
  • Language Comprehension: Understanding language is equally important in fostering strong reading abilities.

It’s also essential to recognize that reading is not an innate skill; rather, it requires intentional teaching. That’s where the Library, with your support, makes an essential difference.

Armed with early literacy expertise and experience, the Library’s Ready to Read team travels throughout the community to provide parents and caregivers one-to-one individualized instruction on preparing children to read. The Ready to Read team focused on the importance of talking, singing, playing, writing, and reading with children every day to build early literacy skills. They provide parents and caregivers with instruction on how to make these elements part of each day as well as a bag full of books and tools to help build reading skills.

The Ready to Read team provides more than 1,000 trainings per year to parents and caregivers to help get our children ready to read and off to a better start in school. Learn more.

Help us build strong readers!