About

Read by 4th is citywide campaign bringing together an ever growing coalition of partners to double the number of children reading at grade level by the start of 4th grade.

At the end of the 2017 school year, almost two thirds of children in Philadelphia entered the 4th grade unable to read at grade level. 4th grade is the year when instruction shifts from teaching students how to read to using reading to teach new subjects. This means that students who are not reading proficiently by 4th grade could fall further behind.

The good news is that research also shows us that all children are capable of making great strides, if not leaps, in reading ability with small changes in everyday interactions from those who care for and love them inside and outside the classroom.

Rewriting Philadelphia’s early literacy story takes more than one author. 

Through Read by 4th’s ever-growing coalition of partners (103 at last count) and ongoing community outreach, we are coming together as Philadelphians to embrace our collective responsibility of giving all our children their best shot at success.

That only a third of our children successfully reach the read-by-4th milestone is not the failing of any one institution or group of people in our city, nor is it the responsibility of any one group to address it. Indeed it is something that can be fixed only if we come together as Philadelphians and embrace our collective responsibility to give all our children their best shot at success.

From a comprehensive research review and our ongoing conversations with practitioners, we know the key levers to grade-level reading, namely increased school readiness, daily attendance, quality classroom instruction, and out of school learning experiences. Based on this, we’ve developed six bold ideas–all organized for impact.

  1. Grownups embrace life’s teachable moments in a city full of learning landscapes
  2. Families make perfect school attendance a monthly goal because every day counts, start to finish. 
  3. All teachers are prepared and resourced to teach reading.
  4. Children are connected to reading during the summer and out-of-school time and have access to free, quality reading support.
  5. Children have a personal home library.
  6. Reading Captain on every block connects families to early education resources.

We are families, educators, literacy specialists, youth program providers, neighborhood merchants, faith leaders, block captains, and much more. Find out how you can help.