4TH ANNUAL CAMPAIGN FOR GRADE-LEVEL READING PACESETTER HONORS ANNOUNCED 38 Communities Recognized for Achieving Measurable Progress in Advancing Early Literacy
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 3, 2016– The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a collaborative effort to increase reading proficiency among children in low-income families, today announced its 4th Annual Pacesetter Honors. Thirty-eight communities across the nation have been recognized as Pacesetters for “leading by example” to solve one or more of the challenges that can undermine early literacy – school readiness, school attendance and summer learning.
Pacesetters are part of a nationwide network of more than 240 Campaign communities, representing 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with 2,100 local organizations (including 130 United Ways and 250 state and local funders). The Campaign communities are dedicated to narrowing the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers. According to the U.S. Department of Education, that gap has widened significantly in recent years, with 80 percent of low-income kids failing to read proficiently in fourth grade compared with 49 percent of their more affluent peers. Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a milestone on a child’s path to high school graduation and career 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 high school and struggle throughout their lives.
Pacesetter communities completed a rigorous self-assessment and were identified based on meeting the following criteria:
“If we’re going to close the achievement gap, we need mobilized communities – like these Pacesetters – working with schools, city agencies, nonprofits, civic leaders and parents to focus on third-grade reading,” Smith added. “These Pacesetter communities inspire us to believe that great things can happen when all of us support parents, care providers and educators as they work to ensure more hopeful futures for our children.”
About the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Launched in May 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, 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. Since its launch, the Campaign has grown to include more than 240 communities, representing 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with 2,100 local organizations and 250 state and local funders, including 130 United Ways. To learn more, visit gradelevelreading.net and follow the movement on Twitter @readingby3rd.