The Why

The call to action regarding the widening reading achievement gap in West Virginia was evident in student achievement data. In 2013, only 35 percent of West Virginia third graders performed at the above proficient level in Reading on the WESTEST-2 State Summative Assessment. State leaders understood an innovative response was necessary to address these scores. As a result, development of the West Virginia Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade Level Reading became a groundbreaking step in the West Virginia Board of Education’s journey toward closing the achievement gap.

Increased student achievement in preparation for college and career readiness is the key goal of the WV Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Ensuring all students have access to high-quality classroom instruction assists with achieving this goal.

The Research

Reading proficiently by third grade is fundamental to student success not only in the later grades, but also in life. Students who fail to reach this critical milestone often falter in the later grades and drop out before earning a high school diploma (Hernandez, 2011).  Not only does reading serve as the major foundational skill for school-based learning, but reading ability is strongly related to opportunities for academic and vocational success.  Students who are not reading at grade level by third grade begin having difficulty comprehending the written material that is a central part of the educational process in the grades that follow. Meeting increased educational demands becomes more difficult for students who struggle to read (Lesnick et al, 2010). Because it is so difficult to remediate a struggling reader after third grade, often those students continue to struggle throughout their educational experience. In fact, 74% of 3rd graders who read poorly will still be struggling to read in 9th grade, (Fletcher and Lyon 1998). Additionally, a person who is not at least a modestly skilled reader by the end of third grade is quite unlikely to graduate from high school. (Snow et al., 1998)

The Goal

  • To annually increase the percentage of children reading proficiently by the end of each grade level per ESSA requirements. 

The How

We know in order to reach our goal, high-quality instruction must be implemented and student learning must be monitored from pre-k through 3rd grade.  High-quality English language arts instruction during the early learning years involves immersion in a literacy-rich environment to develop awareness and understanding of spoken and written language. Through active participation and developmentally appropriate and engaging learning experiences, students develop competencies in reading, writing, listening, speaking and media literacy. To support the development of lifelong learning and global awareness, students are given regular opportunities through developmentally appropriate contexts to participate in language experiences, utilize 21st century skills, and equally employ literary and informational texts of appropriate complexity.

I want to make a difference in my child

Visit the Parent Toolkit, which includes information about almost every aspect of your child’s development, because they’re all connected.

I want to make a difference in our school

  • Visit the WV TREE – a one stop, grade specific site highlighting WV College- and Career-Readiness Standards and resources that are essential to the classroom teacher. The resources include grade specific lessons, professional learning, and guidance documents crafted to help enhance teaching practice and guide the classroom teacher in the art of teaching.
  • Continue professional learning by utilizing PLC guides and Webinars and E-Learning Courses via WV Learns
  • Volunteer in your school and engage with parent-teacher organizations.

I want to make a difference in our community

  • Engage with your Read Aloud WV chapter to help keep books in the hands and on the minds of children.
  • Out of school time providers can communicate with schools to supplement the learning that happens within the school day. Open lines of communication between the community and the school are important to coordinate efforts.
  • Attend Board of Education meetings to bring awareness to the community.