One of the Valley's largest school districts is celebrating a huge achievement in the classroom

One classroom Central Unified is just one of many leading the way to success across Fresno County.

Since 2015 the district has participated in "Cradle to Career Partnership" that focuses on improving educational and health outcomes for students.

Central Unified was one of six districts where reading levels with third-grade students increased.

"We are assessing those students, analyzing the data, modifying instructions and targeting the early literacy. We know that if students are able to read by grade three it pays huge dividends for them later in life," said Superintendent, Andrew Alvarado.

There has been a 20% growth in the last four years for third-grade students in Central Unified.

A Polk Elementary teacher said reading on grade level in third grade is an important milestone.

"Because in third grade I truly believe they are not learning to read but they are reading to learn. So that is very crucial for them," said Ravinder Kaur.

Teachers believe success in reading and writing will lead to higher test scores in other subjects.

"But also when it comes down to math and they have to explain a word problem, so writing comes into that too. So everything all language arts, ELA, writing, math, they are all integrated," said Kaur.

Having a variety of reading materials is key to achieving success for students.

That's why Superintendent Alvarado has added reading labs at several elementary schools this school year.

The focus is on helping students who are reading below grade level.

"Next year we are going to make sure every elementary school and middle school has a reading lab and we are working on that right now," he said.
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