Opinion

Times West Virginian of Fairmont supports national reading initiative

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Think about the number of times you read throughout the course of a day.

Sure, you’re reading these words right now. But think about all the other times you’ll look at a group of what otherwise would just be a jumble of letters and actually comprehend what they mean: a menu while you’re having lunch; a text message from your son or daughter; emails at work; instructions to put together a new toy for your grandchild.

Now think about how difficult those tasks would be if you couldn’t read.

Reading is a vital skill. It’s also one that, if taught at an early age, research shows will have lasting benefits.

That’s what makes West Virginia’s decision to join the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading so important.

On Wednesday, the West Virginia Board of Education approved the state’s participation in the program, which is a national initiative that focuses on ensuring that children in low-income families are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

It was a smart move, especially considering that a recent West Virginia KIDS COUNT report found that seven in 10 children can’t read proficiently by the end of third grade. It said three-fourths of those children will remain poor readers throughout high school, and one in six won’t graduate…

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