What is PreK–3rd?
PreK–3rd is a national initiative to transform how children ages three to eight learn in schools. Research shows that the cornerstone of a successful education is the learning that takes place from PreK through Third Grade. Currently, there is little instructional coordination from year to year, even within the same school, much less across a school district or a state. This means the gains a child makes one year may disappear the next.
The initiative focuses on building strong connections between learning experiences across these critical years. PreK-3rd approaches require that educational standards, curricula, assessment, instruction, and professional development are strongly aligned across high-quality PreK, Kindergarten, First, Second and Third Grades.
Children who fall behind early in their education are unlikely to ever catch up. Research shows that if a child does not attain a solid educational foundation in reading by the end of Third Grade, he or she will struggle for the rest of their lives. Many will drop out of school; some will end up in prison; and most will not be able to lay claim to the American Dream.
By the Fourth Grade, about two-thirds of children in the United States cannot read at or above grade level. For Black, Latino, and American Indian children, less than 20 percent achieve grade-level proficiency by the end of Third Grade.