Third grade reading level is considered an important indicator in a child’s future educational success. But preparing a good reader doesn’t start there – schools across the nation are identifying struggling readers as early as preschool.

One goal of the No Child Left Behind Act is that all children can read at or above grade level by the end of 3rd grade, a time legislators recognize as being an important point in a young student’s educational career. According to a national study conducted by Annie E. Casey Foundation Center for Demographic Analysis, students who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma when compared to proficient readers. An Education Week article took a closer look at some of the most recent states to adopt legislation that require schools to diagnose reading difficulties in the grades leading up to 3rd.

In Utah, a new law requires students in kindergarten through 3rd grade to undergo reading assessments three times during the school year. Parents must receive the results and interventions are provided where needed. Similar laws were recently put in place in Arizona and Oklahoma. In addition, many cities and school districts are adopting their own policies in hopes of producing better readers.

What is your district’s approach on reading? Do you have any tips for young readers?