We read to succeed

In our community, 1 in 3 third graders is not reading proficiently. Why is reading on grade level by 3rd grade so important? Third grade marks the point when students go from "learning to read" to "reading to learn", setting the stage for future academic success. Check out the research on third-grade reading levels.

Summer Reading Parties

Summer Reading Parties are quickly approaching! Any K-5 student is welcome to join us for read-alouds, games, and other activities during this year's parties. In addition, each student will leave the Summer Reading Party with a book of their own to take home. Below are the dates and times for this year's parties.

7/8:    9-10:30 am Spotswood Elementary                                        7/9:    9-10:30 am Mountain View Elementary
          9-10:30 am Plains Elementary                                                          9-10:30 am Bluestone Elementary
          1-2:30 pm Stone Spring Elementary                                                 1-2:30 pm Keister Elementary

7/10:  9-10:30 am Cub Run Elementary                                            7/11:  9-10:30 am South River Elementary
          9-10:30 am Smithland Elementary                              
          1-2:30 pm Waterman Elementary

7/12:  9-10:30 am River Bend Elementary                                        7/15:  9-10:30 am Lacey Spring Elementary

7/18:  1-2:30 pm Lucy Simms Center


Our Focus & Goals

  • School Readiness - Children who enter school ready to learn are more likely to succeed.
  • School Attendance - Consistent school attendance improves reading outcomes.
  • Summer Learning - Summer learning opportunities reduce loss of critical academic skills.
Our goals include:
  • Kindergarten through 3rd grade students regularly attend school and participate in supportive interventions and activities.
  • Increase Summer Reading Party attendance and the number of books distributed to each child.
  • Students will be engaged in meaningful literacy-based summer learning activities to deepen understanding and develop literacy skills.
  • Non-native English speaking students will have access to age-appropriate reading material in their native language and in English.

Campaign for grade-level reading

On February 18, 2016, we became a national grade-level reading community.  We joined communities across the country who are taking a collective, community-wide approach to building literacy.


We Read to Succeed advisory council oversees our progress. Mary Ann Alger chairs the council, which includes representatives from: Harrisonburg City Public Schools, Rockingham County Public Schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Massanutten Regional Library, Harrisonburg Chamber of Commerce, Harrisonburg Rotary Club, James Madison University, Smart Beginnings Shenandoah Valley, United Way and AmeriCorps VISTA.

Early Literacy

Watch how early literacy impacts the lives of Jamie and Jordan.