Twenty percent of SC third graders could face being held back

Twenty percent of SC third graders could face being held back

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Twenty percent. That's the number of third graders who did not meet expectations for the South Carolina Ready English Language Arts Test, also known as the ELA.

Under the state's 2014 Read to Succeed Act, which emphasized more focus on reading, all South Carolina schools will be required to keep kids in the third grade who fail the reading section of the test.

Horry County librarians Lynn McKernin and Allison Mitchell are aware of the rule.

"We need to help them," said Mitchell.

"I feel like our libraries offer a lot of support that we can collaborate with the public library and the local schools," McKernin said.

McKernin believes one factor is holding the kids back.

"A lot of the time, the teachers are stuck on that they have to read at this lexile level," she said. "You find that the children aren't reading for pleasure and sometimes I feel like if they read what they want to read, it would be more fun for them and they would enjoy it."

Mitchell said summer reading programs extend into the school year every week.

"We would have activities for them to do just to get them into the library and to get them to check out books," she said. "We have a book mobile that travels around the county to different areas. They go to the daycares, some of the schools, and they also go to some of the adult centers too."

They don't agree on holding back the kids if they were to only fail this one single test.

"Those children might have had a bad night the night before. Who knows what happened in their households that day?" McKernin said. "Some children might not have had breakfast or not had any sleep. Any number of things could've happened the night before for them, or even just simply testing anxiety."

Mitchell agreed.

"You need to look at them all around, not just base it off of one test," she said.

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