Read by 4th is a citywide effort of over 80 organizations, public and private, large and small, convened and managed by the Free Library of Philadelphia, aiming to majorly increase the number of students in Philadelphia entering the 4th grade at reading level by 2020. This is the largest effort of its kind in the city of Philadelphia.

This initiative attempts to tackle the literacy crisis in our city—over half of all Philadelphia public school students (and about 65 percent of public school students nationwide) cannot read at grade level by 4th grade. On-track literacy is an important indicator of a child’s future academic and professional success, and the inability to read at grade level by the fourth grade is correlated to higher rates of dropping out of school, risky behavior, and incarceration later in life.

Read by 4th’s comprehensive strategy includes:


Read by 4th Overview

Action Framework

Metrics Chart