#WhyCFK, Uncategorized

Why Reading Matters By The End Of Third Grade

Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a critical marker in a child’s educational development. Until third grade, children learn to read, but after third grade they read to learn. Children who enter fourth grade without reading proficiency are more likely to dropout of high school, reducing their earnings potential and chances for success.* This risk is greatest for students in low-income communities where schools often cannot provide the resources needed to prepare their students for success.

75% of children who struggle with reading in the 3rd grade will never catch up to their peers unless they get the help they need in elementary school.

That’s why CFK aims to make an impact in reading proficiency early in a child’s educational career. Change for Kids provides programs, tutoring and other resources to aid in building competent readers.

Through our programs Guest Reader and Reading Buddies, children have the opportunity to hear a story from our volunteers and corporate partners. These activities are special, engage students in literacy, and often leave the children asking when they will see their guest reader again!


*Annie E Casey Foundation

P.S. 81

H is for Hollywood – P.S. 81 Pre-K Walks the Red Carpet for ABC Book Day

On March 12, P.S. 81’s two PreK classes worked the red carpet for an audience of adoring fans—their parents, teachers, and P.S. 81 staff.  School Manager Zareta Ricks and the amazing team at P.S. 81 put a new spin on the classic Pearson ABC Book photo day, transforming two classrooms into Hollywood backdrops.



For those of you unfamiliar with this program, using a template book, pre-K students create their own ABC reader.  On the first day of the program, students are photographed holding colorful props that illustrate different letters in the alphabet—for example, a ball for the letter B, and a flower for the letter F. Parents are invited to join in the fun and be photographed with their children.  Once photos are done for each child, we print them out on stickers.  On the second day of the program, students stick their stickers into their template book and, P is for presto!, each student goes home with their own ABC book.

Over at P.S. 81, our starlets posed (and played shy) with their zebras and ice cream cones.  While waiting for their turn in front of the camera, students read on their own and with volunteers. Asked about her favorite books, Sydney, age 4, said, “Books about Curious George. He’s a monkey. He does bad things and gets in trouble.” Her classmate, Aidan, age 5, preferred Itchy Itchy Chicken Pox and stories about Llama Llama. 

On hand to help were a group of international undergraduate and graduate students from Virginia Commonwealth University who had come up for a winter trip to NYC. Eager to add a service component to their trip, they joined in as talent wranglers, photographers and production assistants.  While students waited for their turn in front of the camera, they made new friends from Iraq, Columbia, Poland and elsewhere. When everyone had been photographed, the volunteers taught the classes how to say goodbye in their languages. Many thanks to our new friends at VCU!