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Reading Matters

Reading proficiently by third grade can be life changing.

Third grade is when children make the crucial switch from learning to read, to reading to learn.

Grade-level reading skills enable children to begin mastering other important subjects, like math and science. Students who are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade are at great risk of falling behind and never fully catching up.

The Hard Truth


of Colorado fourth graders met grade-level expectations for proficiency in English language arts.1


Students who are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school on time.2

1. Colorado Department of Education. 2017.

2. Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters. (2010). The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

For some children, the odds are simply stacked against them.

That is why Mile High United Way surrounds young students with a literacy-focused environment so they will soak up both the skill and the love of reading.

We train teachers, parents, and caregivers. We place tutors and volunteers into schools. We give our kids safe places in their neighborhoods to learn and grow, giving them the opportunity they deserve.

Khalil invests in Denver's future through Read With Me

“So much of my success now traces directly back to the folks who helped me fall in love with learning. I feel lucky that I’m in a position to do the same for someone else now, and I feel really good investing in Denver’s future through its most important citizens: the kids.”

Read More

Virgil Green: A Powerful Role Model

“This is Power Lunch, right? Let’s all flex those muscles!”

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We need your help to ensure students in our community are reading proficiently in 3rd grade

Other Ways to support


By giving to the Reading Matters fund today, you will help us surround our young students with the programs and resources needed to ensure they are reading at grade level in 3rd grade, so they don't fall behind.


Volunteering can be a fun and deeply rewarding experience where you can make immediate and lasting change by improving lives and building a stronger community.