I totally agree with Lee Butz’s Jan. 15 Your View, "Investing in early education can improve children’s future," particularly as it relates to his observation about the reading abilities of third-grade students. As he so aptly stated, "Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a crucial marker in a child’s educational development. From birth through third grade, children are learning to read; after third grade they read to learn."
It is my belief that any third-grade student who has not learned to read be held back from advancing to fourth grade or be given special attention to improve his or her reading deficiency.
Rotary International recognized the need to stimulate third-grade reading proficiency several years ago and implemented The Dictionary Project across the nation. We, the members of the Allentown Rotary Club, now devote the morning of the second Thursday in November as the time we members go to every elementary school in the Allentown School District to personally provide a dictionary to each third-grade student. The children are delighted with the gift, and their teachers are most appreciative too. It is just one more step toward achieving a quality early education.