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Is the goal of independent reading for all third graders realistic? Actually, 78% of South African third graders cannot read, if reading is defined as figuring out the words on a page. Many children perhaps as high as 68% spend so much time figuring out the words that they cannot attend fully to the message. Other students learn to say the words accurately but do not attend to what they are reading to see if it makes sense. These are the children who struggle in the middle grades when reading tasks in science, mathematics, and literature become demanding.COLLECTION: IF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE