Take Action as an Educator

Educators are instrumental in promoting reading proficiency in the early grades.

Learn what you can do to ensure children in your classroom and school reach the critical milestone of third-grade reading proficiency by clicking each of the ideas below.

Screen young children for development delays and disabilities. Problems with vision and hearing, developmental delays, or learning disabilities can keep children from learning to read. Develop a protocol to ensure that a doctor or practitioner at the school has tested children entering preschool and kindergarten for developmental issues, including the dyslexia screening mandated by state law. If the students in your school have limited access to health care, arrange for a doctor or nurse to screen children at school.

Support development of preschool and Head Start programs. Children who attend early education programs typically arrive at kindergarten better prepared for success in school. Make sure that your community has enough capacity for the children who need access to preschool and that you have alignment between preschool and early grades.

Encourage parents to get involved in their children’s education. Parents and caregivers are critical partners in ensuring their children are prepared to learn every day. Communicate regularly and build a relationship of trust by encouraging parents to read and help their child with their schoolwork and even invite them to participate in classroom and school activities.

  • See the national PTA’s guidance on parent engagement.
  • Check out the Arkansas Department of Education’s My Child/My Student campaign for more information on effective parent-teacher communication.
  • Check out the U.S. Department of Education’s Family and Community engagement resources.  

Use kindergarten screenings to identify and intervene with students who may need extra support in reading. The state-mandated kindergarten readiness screening provides an opportunity to identify students who haven’t mastered key skills.

Work with community groups to provide books and tutors. Many nonprofits and businesses hold book drives and offer age-appropriate books to children who can’t afford them. Others train tutors to work with struggling readers. Find the organizations in your community who can help.

Emphasize the importance of attendance to students and parents.

  • Use incentives such as pizza vouchers or a class party to keep children engaged and excited about coming to school every day
  • Communicate with parents about the impact of absences in the early grades and the link to reading difficulties.
  • Track attendance carefully to determine when students are missing too many days.
  • Distribute our parent handout in English, Spanish, and Marshallese to show parents how many absences are too many and what you can do to reduce absences.
  • Use Attendance Works’ Teaching Attendance toolkit.

Encourage students to keep learning after school and in the summer.

  • Provide summer reading lists and activities to keep children reading and minimize summer learning loss.
  • For struggling readers, make sure parents are aware of resources in the community, including afterschool programs, summer school, and other engaging programs. If your community doesn’t offer such programs, support efforts to launch them.
  • Consider using your school district’s National School Lunch Act (NSLA) or Title I funds to provide summer learning or afterschool opportunities.
  • Share the Arkansas Out of School Network’s resources and guides for afterschool and summer resources.
  • Share Scholastic’s suggestions for summer reading books for different ages and tips for summer reading activities with students and families.

Advocate for more resources. Let your local and state policymakers know that you support expanding education funding, along with access to home visiting, preschool and summer programs so that all Arkansas children can read proficiently by the end of third grade.

Learn more about factors influencing grade-level reading and how you can make a difference in the classroom.


Commit to action in your community and do your part for the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading by taking the pledge.