Spread the Words - Read by 3rd is an early reading initiative sponsored by MICA in partnership with the Marshalltown Community School District and community partners. The goal of the initiative is to increase the number of children in Marshalltown reading at grade-level by third grade to 90%. By the third grade, children need to know how to read well because school curriculum shifts from "learning to read" to "reading to learn".
In Marshalltown, about 46% of children are not able to read proficiently as they leave third grade and this percentage increases in students with low socioeconomic status. The consequences of not being able to read at grade-level by third grade affect a child throughout their entire school career, even into high school and beyond.
The plan of action for resolving the issue is by improving school readiness, providing summer learning opportunities, reducing chronic absence, increasing parent engagement.
RB3! creates summer learning opportunities, which help offset learning loss by increasing access to the Bobcat University Summer Learning Program in neighborhood elementary schools.
RB3! seeks to improve student attendance for chronically absent children (those missing 10% or more of the school year) by providing case management and rewarding good attendance through an Attendance Specialist.
RB3! identifies incoming kindergarten families early and offers parent workshops, a Readiness checklist, and introduces them to KG Ready website for resources to help the kindergarten transition process.
RB3! facilitates an evidence based parent engagement class, Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, to promote school success and family well being.