Communities from Hawaii, to Maine, to Florida Join Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
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ContactPhyllis Jordan
301-656-0348
     

COMMUNITIES - FROM HAWAII TO MAINE TO FLORIDA - JOIN NATIONWIDE EFFORT TO BOOST EARLY READING

Local and state leaders pledge to put students on track
for reading at grade level by the end of third grade

Aiming to increase the number of children reading at grade level by the end of third grade — a critical milestone on the path to high school graduation — five cities and two states have joined the nationwide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

The newest members of the Grade-Level Reading Communities Network include statewide campaigns in Hawaii and Idaho, as well as initiatives in Sarasota, Fla.; Waukegan, Ill.; Portland, Maine; Memphis, Tenn.; and Tacoma, Wash. As GLR Network communities, they have developed plans to address three underlying challenges that can keep young children, especially those from low-income families, from learning to read well:
  • School readiness — too many children are entering kindergarten already behind
  • School attendance — too many young children are missing too many days of school
  • Summer learning — too many children are losing ground academically over the summer
The newest Grade-Level Reading communities join a thriving network of more than 140 communities from 39 states that are committed to tackling a national crisis: a full two-thirds of U.S. students, and four-fifths of children from low-income families, fail to become proficient readers by the end of third grade. Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a milestone on a child’s path to success because it marks the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Students who have not mastered reading by that time are more likely to drop out of school and struggle throughout their lives.
 
The GLR Communities Network is dedicated to narrowing the gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers. A KIDS COUNT report released this week found that the gap has widened by nearly 20 percent in the past decade. This new GLR video shows why the gap develops and how communities can work to close it.

“Schools have an essential responsibility to help all children succeed, but they cannot do this alone,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the GLR Campaign and senior vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “Addressing barriers and putting young children on the path to success will take mobilized communities, in which service organizations, civic leaders and engaged citizens work in concert with families and schools. We are excited to add these states and communities to our Network of those who are taking action to help more children become proficient readers, prepared to succeed academically and in life.”
 
As members of the Grade-Level Reading Communities Network, these state and local efforts will receive access to experts and policymakers focused on this issue, assistance in addressing the challenges that keep many children from learning to read and opportunities to share and learn with similar places.

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Launched in May 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, states and communities across the nation to ensure that many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. It focuses on reading proficiency by the end of third grade, a key predictor of high school graduation and a milestone missed by fully 80 percent of low-income children. For media inquiries, contact Phyllis Jordan at pjordan@thehatchergroup.com or 301-656-0348

 




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Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
4340 East-West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814
United States