read proficiently by 3rd grade



read proficiently by 3rd grade

Why is Reading by 3rd grade important?

The 3rd Grade Reading Action Team was launched this year and is preparing to launch a pilot project which adds reading interventions in current Marin County summer programs! Read more about the project here!

3rd Grade Reading - Summer Program Reading Intervention Project: 

Currently, there are over 1,000 3rd Graders who do not meet this important educational milestone.  Most of those students are from low income families or are English Language Learners. 

The 3rd Grade Literacy Team’s first project was to work together as a collective to increase the number of K-3rd graders who are receiving quality summer programing with a literacy and parent engagement component. By increasing the engagement of elementary students (and their caregivers) in literacy during the summer, when many students’ achievement “slips” backwards, the team hopes to increase their reading proficiency. (According to the National Summer Learning Association, students can lose 2-3 months of progress in reading achievement over the summer.)

A group of stakeholders has been meeting since September to review data and develop a preliminary game plan for achieving this goal.  

The plan has identified existing summer programs in Novato and San Rafael (LEAP, Kids Club and CAMP University). These programs will work to enhance their programs with literacy and parent engagement activities that would be provided by the members of the 3rd Grade Action Team. We expect to see improvements or maintain reading levels over the summer months. We will publish project outcomes in the fall and we hope to include Marin City and West Marin in next years program!

The 3rd Grade Reading Action Team is dynamic and is currently comprised of the following organizations in Marin County: 

Marin County Public Libraries - Sara Jones, Director

Bay Area Discovery Museum - Elizabeth Rood, Executive Director

MCF - Don Jen, Director for Education 

NUSD- Michelle Stephens, Coordinator of Elementary Education

BACR - Don Blasky, Program Director 

Community Member - Lynda Greene

The Freedom School, Hannah Project - Karen Gilbert

AARP Foundation Experience Corps Marin - Judy Kramer, Program Manager

Former CEO, Reading Partners - Michael Lombardo, Community Member

Marin County School Volunteers - Bob Rosenberg, President

ELM - Jane Kramer, President

Raising a Reader - Gabrielle Miller, President/CEO

San Rafael City Schools - Mayra Perez, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction

Marin YMCA - Torrey Kelly, Regional Director of Youth 

Catholic Charities Canal Family Services - Carlos Garcia, Senior Program Director

4H University of California, Cooperative Extension - Steven Worker, Youth Development Advisor

Parent Services Project - Balandra Fregoso, Program Manager

Parent Services Project/Marin Raising a Reader Program Manager - Kerry Bacho

San Rafael Public Library - Sarah Houghton, Director

San Rafael City Schools District - JJ Lynch, Coordinator Afterschool and Extended Learning

Bridge the Gap - William Woods, Program Educational Director



Students who fall behind at this point face barriers to their future learning. This can be overcome, but not without the efforts of our entire community.

When the system doesn't work:

  • Students enter third grade lacking necessary reading skills. This makes it much harder for them to learn core concepts and gain the knowledge needed for future success.

When the System Works:

  • Students enter 3rd grade with basic and even advanced reading skills. This puts them in position to begin learning the core concepts needed to be successful throughout their educational careers.




First-year scores on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CASPP) aligned to the Common Core standards showed that 60% of Marin County’s students met achievement targets in 3rd Grade Literacy in 2015.
These new scores establish a baseline against which future results can be measured but cannot be compared with earlier tests, which were based on different academic standards, had different names and numbers of achievement levels, were taken with paper and pencil and were mainly multiple choice.
Wide disparities in achievement among student groups persist. While 74 percent of economically advantaged students met achievement targets, only16 percent of English language learners and 24 percent of low-income students did. 

The Data Story

The Data Story

Too many of our children throughout Marin are not developing the skills needed to make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. But how do we know where to best place our resources to change this? 

By disaggregating the data to understand how different groups within our community are performing on these key metrics. In doing so we have insight in how best to create systemic solutions for systemic problems.

when the system is working

Over 90%  of White & Asian students and almost 75% of Non-Economically Disadvantaged students are in position to successfully make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn.


when the system isn't working

Approximately 60% of Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino students, less than 25% of Economically Disadvantaged students and only 16% of English Language Learners have the skills needed by 3rd grade for future success in school.


Data tells stories that can help our children read

*Non-Economically Disadvantaged - students not qualifying for free or reduced lunch

Economically Disadvantaged - students qualifying for free or reduced lunch

Other Efforts

Other Efforts

marin promise partnership has no launched an action team in this area - here are some local efforts showing potential:

MCOE - Early Success Initiative