Our state has a big problem. Our little ones are having issues reading.

As a father of a third-grader myself, I was pretty shocked at the number of third-graders who cannot read at grade level. To be honest, if I were to guess before looking at the actual statistic, I would have guessed maybe 1-out-of-4 could not read at grade level, tops. So you can imagine my surprise when I learned that only 46% of all Louisiana third graders can currently read at grade level.

Naturally, one would think a lot of that has to do with the pandemic. Sure, some of that drop can be pinpointed to the pandemic, but that percentage mentioned above has actually been dropping several years in a row, so it's not all on the pandemic.

However, with us now coming out of the pandemic and our children's lives slowly coming back to normal, it's important to get our kids back on the right track sooner rather than later. Third grade is a crucial point in a student's educational life. Louisiana Superintendent Cade Brumley says that students who have not achieved mastery of their English and Language Arts are upwards to four times more likely to drop out, as opposed to those who have.

To help our little ones get caught up quickly, The Louisiana Department of Education is gearing up for a campaign to reverse our downward trend. Speaking about that campaign, Superintendent Brumley says, "We are going to be providing teacher training opportunities, professional development, even stuff as simple as making sure that kids have books in their hands, that they have access to books.”

The pandemic has been hard on everyone, and that's certainly true for our little students. Hopefully, we as parents can continue to help at home with reading, while our state increases its educational effort as well.



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