CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More than 70 percent of students in West Virginia are not reading proficiently by the end of the third grade.
That's according to new numbers released Tuesday by West Virginia KIDS COUNT.
"The sooner we find a problem and start to work on it, the sooner it's going to be fixed," said Laura Blake, who teaches remedial reading.
More than seven in ten (73 percent) of West Virginia students are not reading proficiently, which is five percentage points worse than the national average.
According to KIDS COUNT data, research shows three out of four of those students will remain poor readers throughout high school and one in six will not graduate.
If you break down the numbers by county, Clay County, W.Va., came in on top -- with 63 percent of students reading proficiently. The worst was Monroe County with only 29 percent proficient.
In a released statement, Margie Hale, the executive director of West Virginia KIDS COUNT says, "We are failing out youngest children by not preparing them to be good readers and successful learners. We can and must do better."
You'll find more information about the KIDS COUNT data and how your county ranks by clicking on the Featured Links here at WSAZ.com.