LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Arkansas lags behind other states when it comes to reading proficiency by the end of the third grade, according to a new report released by the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.
Robinson Elementary Kindergarten teacher Bridget Hudson says some of the biggest challenges in teaching kids how to read are making sure they get the help at home.
"A lot of times it is hard for parents to help out because they are always working," says Hudson who is working with third grade teacher Pam Lane to make sure students are progressing every year.
Lane says Robinson Elementary has an accelerated reading program that helps kids get excited about picking up a book.
"They take a comprehensive test over that book. It's online and on the computer. They love going on the computer anyway. It's a good incentive," says Lane.
They hope these reading programs will increase literacy rates. Community leaders are asking Arkansans to volunteer in schools and help out the faces of the future. Robinson Elementary has always had volunteers work with individual children. The school implemented a new program last school year where volunteers worked with teachers hand in hand inside the classroom.
The other areas the state highlighted today that could help improve this reading crisis include more early childhood programs, reducing absences, and stopping summer brain drain.
If you want to volunteer in Central Arkansas, you can visit this website: Arkidsread.org. To learn about volunteering in other districts visit ar-glr.net
Arkansas is currently ranked 36th in the country in fourth grade reading proficiency. The report will be released today at the Boys and Girls Club at Wetherington Place. The report can be found here: www.ar-glr.net.
THV's Pam Baccam will have more on "Today's THV at 6:00" and todaysthv.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @pbaccam.