Hartford Campaign for Grade Level Reading Wins Pacesetter Award

SPOTLIGHT on EXCELLENCE September 2015

Hartford Campaign for Grade Level Reading Wins Pacesetter Award

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut announced that with their partners in the local Hartford Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, the HCGLR won the National CGLR's Pacesetter Award for our work together in 2014. Partners include Achieve Hartford!, City of Hartford, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Hartford Public Library, Hartford Public Schools, Hartford Partnership for Student Success, and Mega Education, LLC.
 
Members of the HCGLR with Susanne Sparks from the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading; left to right are Charlene Perez from Hartford Community Schools, Anita Ford Saunders from United Way of United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, Susanne Sparks, Kate England, Chief Academics Officer Hartford Public Schools, Mario Florez, Director of School Climate and Safety HPS, Tauheedah jackson from Hartford Partnership for Student Success, Susan B. Dunn, President and CEO of United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, Paula Gilberto,Senior Vice President, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, Sandra Ward, Achieve Hartford!, and Chris Senecal from Hartford Foudnation for Public Giving.
 
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Recognized Hartford as one of thirty communities who are “Pacesetters” in Early Reading Work and have been named 2014 “Pacesetters” by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, recognizing their measurable progress in addressing some of the problems low-income children face in becoming proficient readers. Each of the 30 honorees produced results in improving student outcomes in at least one of three focus areas: increasing school readiness, reducing chronic absenteeism and improving summer learning among low-income children. The Pacesetter honorees were selected from among 76 communities in the Grade-Level Reading Communities Network that participated in a series of activities in 2014 designed to strengthen their work. Across the country, communities completed rigorous self-assessments of their progress, mobilized local constituencies through events such as Summer Learning Day and Attendance Awareness Month and updated their Community Solutions Action Plans.
 
The 2014 Pacesetter Communities include: Fresno, CA Ames, IA Kansas City, MO Stockton-San Joaquin,CA Quad Cities, IA/IL Gulfport, MS Tahoe Truckee, CA Council Bluffs, IA Wake County, NC Bridgeport, CT Des Moines, IA Paterson, NJ Hartford, CT Dubuque, IA Las Vegas, NV New Britain, CT Marshalltown, IA Buffalo, NY Delray Beach, FL Topeka, KS Providence, RI Sarasota, FL Holyoke, MA San Antonio, TX Tampa, FL Pittsfield, MA Richmond, VA Waukegan, IL Springfield, MA Roanoke, VA
 
Detailed profiles describing each community’s progress are available on the Campaign for GradeLevel Reading’s website at http://gradelevelreading.net/our-network/pacesetter-honors.
 
“The growth and progress that we’re seeing across the Campaign network is nothing short of inspiring,” said Ralph Smith, the managing director of the GLR Campaign. “These Pacesetters truly represent hope for American educational attainment, particularly for children from low-income families. Whether it’s preparing kids for kindergarten, attacking the ‘summer slide’ or boosting elementary attendance, these communities are demonstrating that we all can make a difference.”
 
National tests show that two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders, and four-fifths of those from low-income families, are not reading proficiently. Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a milestone on a child’s path to high school graduation and later 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 award winners are part of a nationwide campaign – now operating in 167 communities — that is committed to increasing the number of low-income children who are reading at grade level by the end of third grade. The Grade-Level Reading Communities Network now includes 2,100 local organizations at work in 41 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “We can’t expect our public school systems to solve this problem on their own,” Smith added. “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.”
 
To see the latest work of the Hartford Campaign for Grade Level Reading, go to Learning Happens Every Day.

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