High School Graduation

Third grade reading proficiency is a powerful indicator for future academic success, high school graduation, and life stability.

Reading proficiently by the end of third grade is the highest predictor of high school graduation. 

According to a longitudinal study commissioned by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, children who can’t read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out before graduating high school. If the child also lives in poverty, he or she is six times more likely to drop out.




Not graduating from high school has life-long consequences.

Individuals who do not complete high school are significantly more likely than high school graduates to become incarcerated, become teen parents, be subjected to violence as either an aggressor or a victim, be unemployed, and be recipients of Medicaid and welfare.



Life expectancy of people who do not have a high school degree compared to those who have a bachelors degree differs by approximately 11 years.



 Individuals who graduate from high school are healthier, too.


To set our nation’s children on a path to economic success and life-long health, it is critical for parents to talk with their children to help them achieve the milestones of third grade literacy and high school graduation.


Additional Resources:

Get Georgia Reading: Georgia’s Campaign for Grade Level Reading

National Campaign for Grade Level Reading

Talk With Me Baby is made possible by a grant from the United Way of Atlanta and is a collaborative effort among organizations.