About Ready.Set.READ!

About Ready.Set.READ!

The Issue

Third grade reading proficiency is a critical component of learning and an indicator of long-term educational and life outcomes. Yet more than 43% of third-graders throughout Berks County are reading below grade level. That means that 1,996 children in our community - in urban, rural and suburban schools - are four times more likely to drop out of school and 13 times more likely to drop out if they also live in poverty. They are less likely to develop skills essential for contributing to the 21st Century economy and less likely to be effective citizens.

Our Response

The mission of Ready.Set.READ! is to increase the number of students in Berks County reading proficiently by the end of third grade.

  • provides support to students who are struggling to be proficient readers
  • promotes language and pre-literacy development in younger children
  • empowers parents and caregivers to help their children read, learn and develop
  • mobilizes the community to take action to improve early grade reading success

Our Guiding Principles

  • All children can learn and succeed.
  • Parents and/or primary caregivers are the first and most important teachers of their children.
  • Our children's success depends on a focused, collaborative effort by parents, schools, universities/colleges, government, non-profit agencies, faith-based groups and public and private businesses.
  • Early literacy development is critical to lifelong learning, success and personal fulfillment.



This initiative is the result of almost two years of work in engaging the community to find an issue that is important to Berks County and where we have the potential to create positive and measurable change for the long-term.

Through survey reponses from nearly 1,500 people, talking with 275 participants in 23 community conversations and holding interviews with 65 education, community and business leaders, early grade reading success emerged as an area where people felt we need to focus our collective attention at this time. These findings, in addition to extensive data, research and best practices that already exist to support the importance of early grade reading success, point to this goal as an appropriate target issue for Berks County community to collaboratively work towards achieving over the next few years.


Our Board of Directors

The work of Ready.Set.READ! is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors. Learn more about the wide cross-section of community leaders who are leading the charge to improve early grade reading success in Berks County.

Our Progress

2018/2019 Ready.Set.READ! Report

2017 Ready.Set.READ! Report

2016 Ready.Set.READ! Report

2015 Ready.Set.READ! Report

2014 Ready.Set.READ! Report