Twenty-seven communities across the nation are poised to receive the coveted AAC Award, a recognition created 67 years ago by the National Civic League. This year, the League is working together with the GLR Campaign to recognize communities that have made measurable progress for low-income children on the key drivers of early reading success — school readiness, school attendance, summer learning and grade-level reading.

“Recognizing these communities as All-America Cities is our way of applauding the civic leaders, nonprofit organizations and agencies, and corporations that have joined forces to build brighter futures for the children in their communities,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “We are proud of these communities for answering the call and going above and beyond to ensure more hopeful futures for our nation’s most vulnerable children.”

This year’s AAC Award finalists represent the diversity of American communities from large urban centers to rural communities. Finalists will travel to Denver, Colo., June 14-16, during Grade-Level Reading Week and share their work with peers and participate in the event’s learning opportunities.

2017 All-America City Award Finalists:

  • Springdale, AR

  • Avondale, AZ

  • Stockton-San Joaquin County, CA

  • Tahoe Truckee, CA

  • New Britain, CT

  • Delray Beach, FL

  • Suncoast (Sarasota & Manatee Counties), FL

  • Ames, IA

  • Council Bluffs, IA

  • Des Moines, IA

  • Dubuque, IA

  • Quad Cities, IA & IL

  • Springfield, MA

  • Worcester, MA

  • Kansas City, MO

  • Gulfport, MS

  • Lafayette County-Oxford- University, MS

  • Wake County, NC

  • Rochester, NY

  • Syracuse, NY

  • Montgomery County-Dayton, OH

  • Lane County, OR Newport, RI

  • Dallas, TX

  • San Antonio, TX

  • Salt Lake (Clearfield, Kearns, Park City and South Salt Lake), UT

  • Roanoke, VA

AAC Award winners in 2017 will be communities that:

  • Demonstrate they have moved the needle on outcomes for low-income children in at least two of the following community solutions areas: school readiness, school attendance, summer learning and/or grade-level reading.

  • Address the National Civic League’s key process criteria of civic engagement, cross-sector collaboration and inclusiveness.

  • Bonus points will be awarded for communities that have a plan for sustainability and for aligning, linking, stacking and bundling the most promising and proven programs, practices and strategies.

    “We are honored to collaborate with the GLR Campaign in the All-America Cities program this year,” said Doug Linkhart, president of the National Civic League. “These cities are demonstrating that they can draw on the strength of their communities by harnessing the commitment of local residents, nonprofits and businesses to make a difference in the lives of their young people.”

    To learn more about the AAC Award criteria and to view profiles for each AAC Award finalist, visit

    AAC Award recipients will be formally announced and honored on June 16 at the All-America City Awards Gathering. Communities nationwide are invited to attend the gathering to share successes and challenges, celebrate extraordinary results and explore new strategies to achieve bigger outcomes. For more information and to register, visit

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