The NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative is building on North Carolina’s history of innovation and success to tackle one of the greatest challenges facing the state: the overwhelming majority of our children, especially those from low-income families, are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade. Reading well in the early grades predicts a child’s academic and career success.

Third grade reading proficiency is achievable with policies and practices that reflect the science—reading is a cumulative process that develops from birth and is rooted in early brain development. Research shows that improving third grade reading takes a coordinated birth-through-age-eight approach that focuses on children’s health and development, families and communities, and high quality learning environments with regular attendance.

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