MDE Launches Website to Help Children Become Strong Readers

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has revamped its Strong Readers website,, to help families assist their children with building their reading skills.

The site is organized by grade level, from kindergarten through grade 5. It includes strategies for developing strong reader habits and a series of activities to practice the five components of reading. Those include working with sounds, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Also included are tools for families to find books that match their child’s grade band and a free, online library.

“Summer is an important time for children to read and practice their language skills,” said Kristen Wynn, MDE state literacy director. “The Strong Readers website provides fun activities for parents and caregivers to help children practice their literacy skills at home.”

Research shows that children who don’t read over the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress, and that loss can have a cumulative, long-term effect.

“With the extended school closures this past school year, it is more important than ever to keep children engaged in reading over the summer,” Wynn said.

Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act requires 3rd grade students to pass a reading test at the end of the school year to qualify for promotion to 4th grade. The law focuses on building literacy skills among all students, particularly in pre-K through 3rd grade. Since the law was implemented, reading scores among Mississippi elementary students have increased at a faster rate than all other states.