Goal One


When children start the fourth grade, they encounter a shift in the way they are taught – they go from learning to read to reading to learn. Any child who cannot read proficiently by the time they enter the fourth grade is at a serious risk of falling behind. Suddenly, a student who struggles to keep up with her peers in reading may find herself also falling behind in science, social studies and math classes. In fact, reading at grade level in the third grade is the most powerful predictor of later student achievement.

2015-2016 baseline: 38% of Akron Public Schools third-graders read at grade level.

2018-2019: 50% of Akron Public Schools third-graders read at grade level.

It is no coincidence that we list this as our first goal. Third grade reading matters because it is the foundation of later learning. You can draw a direct line from third grade reading proficiency to graduation to increased employment opportunities and financial stability later in life.

Strategies to Achieve Our Bold Goals

How can YOU support Bold Goal 1?

You can spread the word about United Way’s Imagination Library.

Imagination Library mails free books monthly to children from birth to age five in Summit and Medina counties.

You – along with others in your company – can participate in one of the many volunteer events provided through United Way’s year-long Engagement Calendar.

Our volunteer engagement events provide hands-on experiences through meaningful projects that support United Way’s Bold Goals.

You can engage in public policy advocacy as a powerful way to make a difference.

Learn more about and take action on community issues that are essential to the success of the Bold Goals.

You can donate to specifically support Bold Goal 1 or all of United Way’s Bold Goals.

LEARN MORE: Summit County is taking a big step toward improving student success by joining the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (GLR Campaign), a collaborative effort to improve reading proficiency, early learning and early school success for children from low-income families.