Research shows that early literacy is hugely important for future student success. If students cannot read on grade-level by the end of third grade, they are more likely to drop out of school, have behavioral problems and have less academic success than their peers.

In 2013, only 47.9 percent of Michigan third-graders were reading on grade level, a sad fact that shows just how far our state has fallen in preparing our students to succeed.

It is vitally important to future learning and success that all students be able to read. We need more investments and strategies to help boost literacy rates, among all grade levels but particularly for early grades.