The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading today names 40 public housing agencies (PHAs) to its 2015-2016 Honor Roll for exemplary work to boost children’s literacy.  

More than one million children from birth to age 8 are living in public housing in the United States. Research shows that 80 percent of children from low-income families enter kindergarten so far behind that they do not catch up and are unable to read proficiently by the end of third grade, a key predictor of high school graduation.

“Housing is a critical platform and portal for early learning and early school success,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “We applaud and celebrate each of these public housing agencies for taking up the challenge to increase reading proficiency, improve the overall academic achievement and ultimately improve the life trajectories of children in low-income families. Their commitment to maintain, strengthen and scale existing literacy programs and partnerships demonstrates that the momentum for this work will continue to build.”

The PHAs named to the GLR Campaign’s 2015-2016 Honor Roll are recognized for their leadership in one or more of the following areas:  

  • Bright Spot (Attendance/Chronic Absence): Exemplary work to raise awareness in PHA communities about chronic absenteeism and the importance of attending school every day. 
  • Bright Spot (Book-Rich Environments): Exemplary work to transform PHA communities into book-rich environments.
  • Pacesetter (HUD/GLR Memorandum of Understanding): Partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the GLR Campaign to promote and increase the work being done across the country to improve the grade-level reading skills of children living in federally assisted housing.
  • Pacesetter (Read for the Record): Participation in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record® campaign, an annual event that inspires adults to read with children, spurs policymakers and organizations to take action toward transformative change in early education, and puts books in the hands of more children across the country. 
  • Leadership Cohort (Book-Rich Environments): Commitment to co-designing and participating in the Book-Rich Environments Initiative, a collaborative effort newly launched by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Education. The initiative aims to establish strong, local coalitions that support PHAs nationwide with providing diverse, high-quality books and literacy support to children and families living in public and HUD-assisted housing.

Read the full press release and view honorees on the GLR Campaign’s 2015-2016 Honor Roll.

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Ernestine Benedict, Chief Communications Officer

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