Why Early Literacy Matters

The Commit! Partnership has prioritized its 3rd grade reading indicator because of its outsized impact on student’s long-term academic trajectory. Nationally, fewer than one in five children who are reading below level in 3rd grade go on to college, hindering their chances to realize the opportunity to generate ~$600,000 more in lifetime earnings vs. a high school graduate or dropout.

In 2012-13 in Dallas County, 35% of 3rd graders read at grade level, with a wide achievement gap between students who are economically disadvantaged (28%) and those who are not (56%). Our community cannot meaningfully strengten its cradle-to-career education pipeline without first building strong readers by 3rd grade.

Dallas County Snapshot: 3rd Grade Reading

Only 30% of 3rd grade students in Dallas County read at a level that indicates they are on track to be prepared for success in college

There is a 28% gap in reading proficiency between non-economically disadvantaged and economically disadvantaged 3rd graders

Only 22% of 3rd grade students in South Oak Cliff and Molina feeder patterns read on a level indicating they are on track for college

Around 97% of the 3rd grade students we work with in South Oak Cliff and Molina feeder patterns qualify for free and reduced lunch

Learn What We’re Doing About It

In close collaboration with other districts, community leaders, volunteers and local businesses, the Partnership is working in the following areas related to early literacy: data-driven support, quality instruction, school culture and public-private partnerships.