Adam Schwartz's Posts (50)

  • With Attendance Awareness Month starting in a just a few weeks, now's the time to make sure that your superintendent has signed the 2018 Call to Action. Your superintendent's support of the Call to Action will be a public "line in the sand" to combat chronic absence by priotizing attendance, mobilizing your community, and "driving" with data. Over 600 superintendents across the country have already signed, has yours? 

    If you don't see your superintendent's name on the list, consider reaching out to them to tell them how important attendance is to you. In partnership with Attendance Works, we have written a template letter that you're free to use and modify to let your superintendent know that attendance should be a priority in your community. The letter also contains helpful links that provide additional information that your superintendent can reference.

    If you're interested in what else you can do to help promote Attendance Awareness Month, take a look at Attendance Works' Count Us In! Toolkit. It's filled with a variety of resources that can help you plan events, engage your community and promote the importance of attendance

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  • We received this invite from Ascend at the Aspen Institute and excited to share the resources with the GLR Network.


    New Federal Opportunities to Advance Two-Generation Approaches to Improving the Lives of Children and Parents

    Ascend is proud to release New Federal Opportunities to Advance Two-Generation Approaches to Improving the Lives of Children and Parents and elevate funding opportunities in the 2018 federal budget.

    Because of recent legislation and budget appropriations passed earlier this year, the federal government will be providing significant new funding to state and local governments beginning in 2018 through an array of programs serving children and parents with low incomes. These new funding streams, combined with an increased focus on improving outcomes using evidence-based approaches, create a remarkable opportunity for state and local leaders to add, enhance, or expand 2Gen approaches and transform how government tackles intergenerational poverty.

    Join us for a webinar on

    Thursday, July 12, 2018

    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET

    Hear additional insights from 2Gen and federal policy experts on how to pursue new funding streams available for organizations focused on improving outcomes for children and families.

    Register Now

    The report and webinar will explore:

    • The most significant new funding streams available to support ground-breaking 2Gen approaches, which will provide over $4.6 billion in additional 2018 funding and could provide much more in future years; 
    • How leading states and counties are already preparing to tap these new funds to test or scale up evidence-based 2Gen strategies with community partners; and  
    • Concrete steps that all jurisdictions can take to leverage these new federal resources to improve outcomes for children and families while improving government efficiency. 

    Webinar speakers include:

    • Anne Mosle, Vice President, Aspen Institute; Executive Director, Ascend at the Aspen Institute
    • Kathryn Stack, Consultant, former Advisor for Evidence Based- Innovation and  Deputy Associate Director for Education, Income Maintenance and Labor at the Office of Management and Budget
    • Roxane White, Innovator in Residence, Ascend at the Aspen Institute
    This report builds off of the recent release of States Leading the Way: Practical Solutions that Lift Up Children and Families, and is part of Ascend's Solutions Series: a collection of briefs, webinars, and convenings that elevate the top opportunities and actionable solutions to move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security as recommended by Ascend and other experts in the field. 

    New Federal Opportunities to Advance Two-Generation Approaches to Improving the Lives of Children and Parents

    Download your copy of the report

    Let us know what you think! We welcome your feedback via this brief survey

    Read more…
  • The Early Childhood Innovation Prize brought together hundreds of innovators and experts from within Colorado, across the country and around the globe, Gary Community Investments is live-streaming our announcement of the winners and funding awards, which is happening at a special event on May 22 at 3:40 p.m MST in Denver, Colorado. Tune in virtually to learn who is being recognized as Top and Promising Ideas! The broadcast will be accessible using this link.

    In addition to recognizing the winners and sharing our learnings, the event will feature remarks from Isabelle Hau of the Omidyar NetworkMatthew Glickman of Promise Venture Studio and Corey Zimmerman of Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, who will all discuss the role of innovation in supporting young children. 


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  • With GLR Week in Philadelphia quickly approaching, we are excited to lift up GLR communities that have utilized exceptional communications strategies at the 2018 Communications Expo.  The Expo will highlight and honor communities whose communications tools have successfully moved the needle on grade-level reading efforts while providing opportunities for attendees to take and apply these tools in their own GLR programs.

    GLR communities will be asked to submit tools that effectively promoted the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s community solution areas, in addition to the GLR movement:

    • School Readiness
    • School Attendance
    • Summer Reading

     The Expo will recognize up to 20 honorees and display their work throughout the week for fellow attendees to observe, gain insights and ultimately take home ideas to use toward their own promotion efforts.

    Click here to submit your entries and learn more.


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  • Summer Learning Advocates Day 2018

    Our friends at the Naitonal Summer Learning Association shared an email with us inviting our network to take part in the Summer Learning Advocates Hill Day. If you're in the Washington, D.C. metro area, join NSLA on Capitol Hill!

    The summer learning community celebrated a major win as Congress passed and the President signed a FY18 budget deal with major increases in funding for summer funding streams, including 21st Century Community Learning Centers and other Title IV programs, Title I, and AmeriCorps. However, the FY19 budget battle is already underway, with the President's budget calling to eliminate most of these funding streams yet again. Let's keep the strong support for funding summer learning going!

    Please join the National Summer Learning Association on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 for a Summer Learning Advocates Hill Day in Washington, DC! We need your presence and your voices on Capitol Hill to show your representatives how important these federal funding programs are to the students in your programs and your community.

     All of the event details are on the registration page: Students and families who can speak about why your program is personally important to them are welcome to join us.

    Read more…
  • On March 28, Attendance Works will host a webinar to kickoff their Attendance Awareness Compaign.

    With 7.5 million students in the U.S. chronically absent, we need leaders in every state and from every sector to mobilize their communities to action and to Team Up for Attendance! Join Attendance Works and 69 Attendance Awareness Campaign partners as we kick off the 2018 Attendance Awareness Campaign. You’ll hear what’s new for AAM 2018, and how leaders at the state and district levels are uniquely positioned to energize attendance campaigns that result in improvements in school attendance. Register Now:

    We also have sample tweets to help spread the word:

    • We're calling on communities to Team Up for Attendance in 2018! Efforts that turn around #chronicabsenteeism include community-wide action. Join us & @attendanceworks for the AAM kickoff webinar. Register: #SchoolEveryDay
    • Join the Attendance Awareness Month 2018 kickoff webinar & learn how district & state-wide chronic absence reduction campaigns are making a difference. Hear what’s new for AAM 2018! Register today: #SchoolEveryDay
    • We're calling on communities to Team Up for Attendance! Join us & @attendanceworks as we kickoff Attendance Awareness Campaign 2018 on 3/28. What can you do to combat #chronicabsence? Register here: #SchoolEveryDay

    For an example on how chronic absence can be tackled, take a look at PBS Newshour's recent piece on Cleveland and their "Get to School. You can make it!" campaign featuring Hedy Chang, the executive director of Attendance Works. Cleveland's community approach is showing great success!



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  • New Vroom Website and App

    The new Vroom app has received the highest rating possible from Common Sense Media!
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  • GLR Honors: Frequently Asked Questions

    Recently, the GLR Support Center held an informational webinar, GLR Honors: Getting Ready to Self-Nominate, to offer greater insight into the GLR Honors, its process and the submission portal. The filing date for your self-nominations is Friday, February 16, 2018. This honors process will culminate in a series of recognition activities at GLR Week in Philadelphia on July 23–27, 2018. The GLR Support Center will hold one more webinar on this topic on Thursday, February 8 at 2pm ET/11am PT. View the ResourcesRegister Today. Download the Frequently Asked Questions.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    2017 GLR Honors and Recognition:

    Pacesetter Honors, Council of Champions and Bright Spots

     The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading encourages GLR Network communities to apply for recognition through the 2017 GLR Honors and Recognition.

     Pacesetter Honors

    Each year since the inception of the Campaign, GLR Network communities are honored as “Pacesetters" for demonstrating that progress is possible and identifying the leading edge of innovation and improvement for the GLR Network. Over the years, the GLR Campaign has recognized a total of 85 communities as Pacesetters, 48 of which have received recognition multiple times. Each year, the criteria get more challenging to meet and reflect the shared responsibility for driving with data and making measurable progress. Using co-developed criteria and a community-driven self-nomination and review process, the GLR Campaign identifies communities that are truly exemplary and thus warrant the designation “GLR Campaign Pacesetter.”

    Communities recognized as 2017 Pacesetters will be those that meet either or both of the following criteria:

    1. Demonstrate promise and/or progress in alignment and/or collaboration for impact on early school success in one or more of the following areas:
    • across the early grades and early years
    • between STEM and literacy (reading and math)
    • between and among exemplary programs
    • between and among public agencies and systems
    • between and among the private, public and social sectors
    • between and among federal, state and local governments and agencies
    • with a focus on more vulnerable populations (dual language learners; system-involved children; children with learning differences, disabilities and attention issues)
    1. Demonstrate measurable progress and/or promising trend lines toward one or more of the following:
    • achieving population-level improvements in school readiness, school attendance and summer learning
    • increasing the number and percentage of low-income children reading on grade level districtwide
    • assuring community-wide sustainability of the civic action and advocacy agenda
    • integrating the two key determinants of early school success — parents' success and healthy child development

     Council of Champions

    Each GLR community is encouraged to nominate 3–5 individuals to be recognized as members of the GLR Council of Champions for their exemplary service in any of the following roles: 

    1. Volunteers (i.e., reading tutors, mentors, parent organizers and/or others working directly with children)
    2. Members of local sponsoring coalitions, funders, policymakers or elected officials
    3. Leaders of partner organizations or public agencies
    4. Other individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the success of your campaign

     Bright Spots

    Bright Spots are designed to enable communities to “steal shamelessly and share seamlessly” with colleagues across the country who are generating solutions to similar challenges. This year’s Bright Spots will focus broadly on highlighting innovative approaches and promising strategies for achieving bigger outcomes, larger impact and more sustainable scale.



    1. How do I apply for 2017 GLR Honors and Recognition for my community?

    This year's GLR Honors and Recognition application process includes the application for Pacesetter Honors, the nomination for Council of Champion submissions and Bright Spot submissions. Communities are encouraged to submit for any or all of these types of recognition through the online portal at this web address:

    To apply, you should complete the following specific steps:

    1. Create an account for your community on the following website:
    2. Click on the "Select Applications" tab. You will be taken to a tab called “Step 1” that is entitled,"2017 GLR Honors Self-Nomination Form." Provide the requested information. Note you may save your application at any point and return to it later by clicking on the “Save Draft” button at the bottom of the page.
    3. Go the next tab, "Pacesetter Honors" and provide the requested information. You may also upload any related communications products you would like to have considered for showcase in the GLR Campaign’s 2018 Communications Expo. Valid file extensions include *.pdf, *.doc, .docx, *.xlx, *.xlsx, *.jpg, *.png, *.gif, *.mp4, *.mov, *.flv and *.mp3. Note you may save your application at any point and return to it later by clicking on the "Save Draft" button at the bottom of the page.
    4. Go to the next tab, "Council of Champions” and provide the requested information. Note you may save your application at any point and return to it later by clicking on the "Save Draft" button at the bottom of the page.
    5. Go to the next tab, “Bright Spots” and provide the requested information. You may also upload any related communications products you would like to have considered for showcase in the GLR Campaign’s 2018 Communications Expo. Valid file extensions include *.pdf, *.doc, .docx, *.xlx, *.xlsx, *.jpg, *.png, *.gif, *.mp4, *.mov, *.flv and *.mp3. Note you may save your application at any point and return to it later by clicking on the “Save Draft” button at the bottom of the page.
    6. Click on the "Review" tab. Review your application for accuracy and then if you are satisfied, press the "Submit" button to submit your application to the GLR Campaign.

    To assist you in drafting your response, download a Word version of the submission portal. It has all the same questions as the portal. Then, you can copy/paste into the online form to submit your self-nomination.


    1. This year’s Pacesetter criteria look challenging and daunting. I’m not sure that we’ve done enough to submit.

    The first Pacesetter criteria asks to demonstrate promise and/or progress in alignment and/or collaboration. We are looking for promising strategies that have a good chance of succeeding.  We understand that many communities are in process with this work and hope communities that feel they are doing promising work will submit.


    1. We are just getting started and don’t feel we are ready to submit for Pacesetter Honors. Is it worth it for us to complete the other sections?

    Yes! Every community has Champions in their community who have helped start the work of third-grade reading proficiency. Similarly, all communities have Bright Spots. Some communities could talk about an innovative way they started their coalition or wrote their Community Solutions Action Plan (CSAP). We hope that all communities in the Network will submit Bright Spots and nominate Champions.


    1. Who is eligible to apply for 2017 GLR Honors and Recognition?

    Eligibility to apply is open to any community that has filed a CSAP any time by December 31, 2017, and is a member of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Network of communities.


    1. Can our community apply for 2017 Pacesetter Honors, Council of Champions and Bright Spot?

    Yes; in fact, you are encouraged to do so!


    1. Must my community apply for all three sections of the application (2017 Pacesetter Honors, Council of Champions submission and Bright Spot submission)?

    No. Although we encourage a community to complete of much as the application as possible, you need only complete the sections of the online application that make sense for your community. Each section will be considered separately. Submitting in one section will not give your community a better chance in other sections.


    1. How many individuals can we nominate for the Council of Champions?

    We encourage every community to nominate 3-5 people. You can nominate fewer than three but not more than five.


    1. Will submitting communications products strengthen my chance of being recognized with Pacesetter Honors?

    No, this is an optional step that will not impact the assessment of your Pacesetter self-nomination.


    1. Can we submit more than one Bright Spot?

    Not at this time. We are encouraging communities to file the story they would most like to tell about their progress/achievements/challenges and include that as their one Bright Spot submission.


    1. When are 2017 GLR Honors and Recognition applications due?

    Please file your self-nomination via the online portal by Feb. 16, 2018.


    1. May a state apply for 2017 GLR Honors and Recognition?

    Yes, states can nominate Champions and submit a Bright Spot.


    1. When will the 2017 Pacesetter Honorees and new Council of Champion members be announced? When will the Bright Spots be shared?

    We anticipate announcing the 2017 Pacesetter Honorees by March 31 and will be welcoming new Council of Champion members and sharing Bright Spots in the lead-up to GLR Week in Philadelphia, PA, July 23-27, 2018.


    1. How many 2017 Pacesetter Honorees will be recognized? Am I competing with other communities for a predetermined number of awards?

    There is no pre-specified number of 2017 Pacesetter Honorees that will be recognized. You are therefore not in competition, as such, with other communities for a predetermined number of slots. The determination of recommendations for Pacesetter Honors is solely at the discretion of the application review panel.


    1. Is this the only chance to submit for the Communications Expo?

    No, there are two ways to submit for the Communications Expo. The first is to submit here with your Pacesetter and/or Bright Spots self-nomination. The second is through the portal used last year for the Communications Expo, which will be opened again once the self-nomination process for 2017 GLR Honors and Recognition is closed

    1. Some of the Pacesetter criteria mention community-wide or population-level progress. How does the GLR Campaign define community-wide, population-level progress for low-income children?

    Communities can demonstrate community-wide, population-level progress in any of the following ways: (a) on the basis of the unit of change or catchment area you have defined for your grade-level reading initiative (e.g., if your initiative is countywide, your data would reflect progress on a countywide indicator); or (b) on the basis of an entire neighborhood or system in a particular city (e.g., you could cite progress for all children in Head Start or children from WIC families).

    Read more…
  • Toys for Joy Launches in Springfield, Mass.

    Reading Success by 4th Grade has partnered with The Republican, Springfield's local newspaper, MassLive, and The Salvation Army, in their Toy for Joy holiday giving campaign. Toy for Joy, now in its 95th year, is using the this new partnership to make a literacy a key component of this year's campaign. Every child who benefits from the program will also receive at leas one book to share with their families. 

    Toy for Joy works with donors to make sure needy children in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties have toys and gifts each holiday season. "We have so many parents tell us that they didn't know it was important to read to babies, but there is an incredible amount of brain research that confirms that 80 to 90 percent of a child's brain is formed by the time they are three-years-old," said Sally Fuller, project director for Reading Success by 4th Grade, a program of the Irene & George Davis Foundation. Fuller said from her experience with childhood literacy over the years their reaction to getting a new book can be just as enthusiastic as their excitement over a new toy. Children receiving toys and books will range from 0-16 years-old. Fuller said books will be chosen based on a child's age, but will also take into consideration diverse cultural backgrounds and language. With a large Latino population in Western Massachusetts Fuller said she hopes to offer some books that are bilingual, making it easier for families to share the experience of reading the book together.

    Read more about this amazing program below:

    Toy for Joy launches 95th annual appeal, focuses on family literacy

    Toy for Joy, Reading Success by 4th Grade team to help make difference in children's lives: Viewpoint

    Toy for Joy donors giving the gift of literacy

    Toy for Joy donors appreciate new literacy component

    Read more…
  • We received this email from Leslie Gabay-Swanston at the National Summer Learning Association 


    As 2018 quickly approaches, the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) seeks to expand the capacity of communities to coordinate key systems and leverage existing infrastructures to increase quality summer programming for those most in need.

    After launching a successful cohort in 2017, NSLA is excited to invite a new group of cities in 2018 to begin building a system of summer learning in their community. With many local entities focused on boosting student achievement, implementing quality standards, and maximizing opportunities for expended learning, a more coordinated and strategic approach to how the summer space is used can accelerate the impact of all efforts. NSLA invites you to continue to build on this movement by joining a select group of cities that will embark on this work in 2018.

    Click here to view the Request for Qualifications

    The Request for Qualifications is intended to be completed by funding agencies and I encourage you to reach out to funders in your network that may be interested in deepening their support. Proposals are due January 19, 2018.

    We will hold an informational webinar on December 19 at 2pm ET.

    Click here to register for the webinar

    Please let me know if you have any questions in the meantime.


    Leslie Gabay-Swanston
    Director of Program and Systems Quality
    National Summer Learning Association

    Read more…
  • Raise Me to Read StoryWalks in Iowa

    Raise Me to Read in Council Bluffs, Iowa has been hosting StoryWalks throughout this past year. They've held a total of seven walks; approximately 1,371 individuals have attended, raising both awareness and interest throughout their community! At the end of the walking held in the park, they offered a free snack and a free book for each child. Each walk was open to children age 5 and younger and offers each page of a selected book on separately as parents/guardians and children make their way along the path.      

    These walks also garnered a good deal of media attention, highlighted in the articles below.

    Read more…
  • Great news! We're gearing up for GLR Week 2018 in Philadelphia, July 23-27Please save the date! This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity. We're expecting over 300 GLR Campaign funding, program and agency partners to gather in the City of Brotherly Love. You'll reconnect with old friends and meet plenty of new ones while gaining new insights on effective strategies to achieve bigger outcomes, larger impact and sustainable scale for children's early school success.

    Registration and hotel information are coming soon. If you have questions or would like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Adam Schwartz at

    We are looking forward to seeing you! 
    To get you ready for this incredible week, take a moment to explore the GLR Week 2017 experience and see firsthand why so many of your peers are still buzzing about it. 

    GLR Week 2017 -  Highlights Video

    GLR Week 2017 - Photo Gallery 

    GLR Week 2017 -  Session Documentation & Resources 

    Read more…
  • The Walmart Foundation is making up to $3 million in grants available through a competitive RFP, and will award grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 to eligible organizations chosen for the purpose of helping to accelerate progress for new, innovative efforts or scaling existing initiatives that support programs related to strengthening community cohesion or expanding pathways to career opportunity for diverse communities.

    The RFP process will be administered online using the CyberGrants application system which can be accessed here. If you do not already have an account, you will need to create one when accessing the site for the first time. There will be a Q&A session and CyberGrants training on November 16, 2017. If your organization is considering this RFP opportunity, the Walmart Foundation strongly encourages you and others on your team to participate in the webinar training scheduled for November 16, 2017 at 3:00pm-4:00pm ET/2:00pm-3:00pm CT. You may submit questions for the training to

    The access information for the Q&A Session and CyberGrants Training is as follows:

    1. You can join by accessing or using the WebEx mobile app in the Google Play or Apple Store
    * Meeting Number: 749 060 776
    * Meeting Password: Walmart
    2. You may also join by telephone @ 1-855-797-9485, access code: 749 060 776 but you will not be able to see the slides.

    CyberGrants will be open to accept a Letter of Intent (LOI) on Monday, November 20, 2017. You will need to use the case sensitive invitation code: DIRFPCM to submit an LOI. The deadline to submit an LOI is 11:59pm ET on Friday, December 22, 2017. For the purpose of this RFP, diverse communities are defined as African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, Individuals with Disabilities, LGBTQ, and Women.

    There are 3 supporting documents to read:

    1. The Final 2018 D&I RFP
    2. D&I RFP FAQ
    3. D&I RFP Giving Guidelines
    Read more…
  • Many children in the U.S. face dim academic and career prospects, as millions going into the fourth grade are unable to read proficiently. Two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders are not proficient readers, according to national reading assessment data. This disturbing statistic is made even worse by the fact that more than four out of every five low-income students miss this critical milestone.

    McGraw-Hill Education is partnering with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading (GLR Campaign) to raise awareness for this critical issue. Together, the organizations will host a live webinar addressing issues around the third grade reading gap, including strategies and curriculum ideas for creating a comprehensive third-grade reading proficiency achievement plan to help ensure that students become proficient readers before moving on to fourth grade.

    Educational leaders in elementary schools are invited to attend: Achieving Third Grade Reading Proficiency: Essential Strategies for Meeting the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 15 beginning at 2:00 pm Eastern and 11:00 am Pacific.

    Registration is available through November 15 at:

    The webinar will be presented by education experts Barbara O’Brien from the GLR Campaign, which is funded in part by the Annie Casey Foundation, together with Mary Eisele from McGraw-Hill Education’s Intervention and Acceleration group. A goal of the GLR Campaign is that by 2020, a dozen states or more will increase by at least 100% the number of low-income children reading proficiently at the end of third grade. Supporting that, McGraw-Hill Education is a leading provider of English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum programs and resources—including Reading Mastery, Open Court Reading, and SRA FLEX Literacy—that empower teachers to enrich, remediate, and accelerate ELA and literacy skills.

    Join this webinar to find out more about the challenges of the third grade reading gate, and how states are holding districts accountable. Discover potential solutions for addressing the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, including recommended actions and curriculum solutions. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask Barbara and Mary questions around addressing the third grade reading gap. All attendees will receive a link to the on-demand webinar, as well as valuable articles from The Campaign for Grade Level Reading and McGraw-Hill Education.

    Reading proficiency by the third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. It’s a key to gaining achievement in the new knowledge economy and breaking the cycle of poverty over time.

    Webinar Presenters

    Barbara O’Brien is a Senior Consultant at the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. She is the first fellow of Piton Foundation, a foundation dedicated to improving conditions and opportunities for children from low-income families. Barbara is continuing her work to advance a state and national education reform agenda, from preschool to college. She also serves as the Policy Director for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Prior to joining the Piton Foundation, Barbara served four years as Colorado’s 47th Lieutenant Governor, becoming only the fourth woman to hold the position in Colorado’s history.

    Mary Eisele, Ph.D. is the Director of Product Management for the Direct Instruction product line at McGraw-Hill Education. For 25 years, Dr. Eisele has partnered with schools and districts as educators implemented various Direct Instruction programs. This work deepened her passion for improving student achievement through research-proven programs and embedded professional development. A move from sales and consulting to product development has enabled her to capitalize on those experiences when leading the development of new products. Dr. Eisele authored Phonemic Awareness and produced other resources including promotional videos, professional development tools, an online data management system, and additional materials to support literacy education.

    Read more…
  • We're sharing this letter on behalf of our friends at the CDC. Please feel free to copy and paste it to share with your entire network.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pleased to announce the launch of CDC’s Milestone Tracker – a free app for tracking every child’s development in a fun and easy way. This app adds to the popular suite of free, family-friendly materials available through CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. program.

    “Skills like taking a first step, saying those first words, and waving ‘bye-bye’ are developmental milestones all parents anticipate and celebrate,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D.  “This CDC Milestone Tracker app gives parents tips to help their child learn and grow, a way to track developmental milestones, recognize delays, and the ability to share this information with their healthcare provider.”

    The new app offers

    • Interactive milestone checklists for children ages 2 months through 5 years, illustrated with photos and videos
    • Tips and activities to help children learn and grow
    • Information on when to act early and talk with a doctor about developmental delays
    • A personalized milestone summary that can be easily shared with the doctor and other care providers
    • Reminders for appointments and developmental screening

     Learn more and get information on downloading the app at CDC’s Milestone Tracker website. The app is available in the App Store and on Google Play.

    Although it is packed with parent-friendly features, this app isn’t just for parents! Healthcare providers can use it to help with developmental surveillance as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and early care and education providers can use it to better understand their students’ skills and abilities and to engage families in monitoring developmental progress.

    WE NEED YOUR HELP to spread the word in your community and across your networks! We urge you to copy and share posts and image from the list below, or email for the complete marketing toolkit with additional newsletter samples, images, web buttons, flyers, and more—tailored for parents, healthcare or early care and education providers. 

    Many thanks for your help in getting this important resource into the hands of parents and providers across the country! And if you can, please take a minute to let us know about your outreach efforts at

    On behalf of your friends at CDC,

    [Name/signature line]


    Newsletter Content

    • Never miss a milestone moment with CDC’s new FREE app: Milestone TrackerUse a new, free, and parent-friendly app from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track and celebrate your young child’s development from ages 2 months through 5 years, see photos and videos that illustrate milestones, try new activities to support your child’s early development, get helpful reminders for appointments, and more! Learn more and get a sneak peek at
    • Milestone Tracker: CDC’s FREE app helps parents track developmental milestones and more! Educate and empower parents to learn about, support, and track their child’s development from age 2 months through 5 years with a free app offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Access a printable poster (8.5” x 11”) for your clinic, a web button for your website, and more. Additional information about the app is located at
    • Milestone Tracker: New FREE app helps you team with parents to track and celebrate development. Better understand each child’s skills and abilities, track and celebrate developmental milestones, and share progress with parents with a fun, easy, and free appoffered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Encourage parents to use this FREE app. Access a printable poster (8.5” x 11”) for your classroom or center, a web button for your website, and more at


    • @CDCgov has a FREE app to track your child’s milestones. Learn more about #MilestoneTracker at:  (118 characters)
    • How many milestones do you celebrate in a day? Find a few more with CDC’s FREE #MilestoneTracker app. (129 characters)
    • Educate and engage parents around their children’s development with CDC’s FREE #MilestoneTracker app! (129 characters)
    • @CDCgov has a FREE app to track children's milestones. Learn more about #MilestoneTracker at:  (118 characters)


    • CDC just made tracking early developmental milestones easy and fun with their FREE new, parent–friendly app, Milestone Tracker. Download the app and start tracking, supporting, and celebrating your child’s early development today!
    • Talking with parents about their child’s development is easier when they use CDC’s FREE Milestone Tracker app. Visit to learn more about this parent-friendly app and to print a poster to start promoting the app today! #actearly #milestonemoment
    • You know developmental milestones are important. Educate and engage parents around their children’s development by sharing CDC’s FREE Milestone Tracker app! Visit for promotional tools and more. #actearly #milestonemoment

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  • One of SSIR’s most-popular programs is once again available for you and other social sector leaders. In this two-part video series – “The Network Leader” – you’ll learn to harness the tremendous potential of networks, by building cultures and structures that enable networks to thrive.
    Read more…
  • A team at Northwestern University’s Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact is seeking community partners for a research project involving collaborative efforts to improve education.
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  • Putting Colorado on Your Radar

    The 2017 Funder Huddle kicked off with a look into the inner workings of what Denver has been doing with their highly successful innovative and collaborative work in children's literacy. The Denver Host Committee's panel discussion inspired the audience by sharing their passion and detailing how they built a cohesive community vision. Our distinguished panelists were:

    • Moderator: Bruce Hoyt, senior vice president, Gary Community Investments
    • Anne Anderson, director of early childhood development, The Ben and Lucy Ana Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation
    • Elsa Holguín, senior program officer, Rose Community Foundation
    • Susan Steele, executive director, Buell Foundation

    Get the slide presentation.

    But those four esteemed leaders didn't do it alone, the Colorado Bright Spots are some of the foundations and community leaders that have helped to close the gap in Denver. Their support has contributed to results that equal double-digit gains on early literacy rates!

    This amazing progress is one of the reasons that Denver was named a 2016 Pacesetter. Of particular note is Denver's Birth to Eight Roadmap is a breakthrough document that details their plan to close the opportunity gap by 2020. 

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  • Book-Rich Environments In Action

    The Sarasota Housing Department and Sarasota County Libraries joined forces this summer to make book deserts a thing of the past. Beginning in June, the two organizations set a goal to distribute 2,500 free books over the summer to children who live in the public housing communities, where many of the families live in extreme poverty.

    "Instead of it being a book desert, where these families don't have children's books in their homes at all, we are literally trying to make it a book-rich environment in not only their homes but their neighbor's homes and in the children's library in the building," said William Russell President and CEO of Sarasota Housing Authority.

    The book-rich environments initiative was launched in January and book distribution began, in earnest, in March of this year. Nearly 4 million low-income children are living in HUD-assisted housing across the country. BRE aims to foster a love of reading and to improve educational outcomes of children living in HUD-assisted housing by distributing free, high quality books to children, promoting literacy activities offered by local libraries and nonprofits, and by strengthening partnerships between Public Housing Authorities (PHA), local public libraries and literacy partners to develop and deliver programming to improve educational outcomes of PHA residents.

    PHAs across the country have long embraced the ideals behind the Book-Rich Environments Initiative, taking up the challenge to increase reading proficiency and improve the overall academic achievement of children in low-income families becoming bright spots of this nation-wide commitment with unique programs tailored to their community.

    Sarasota concluded it's summer campaign on August 9th with a "Back to School Bash", where they offered books, backpacks, school supplies and library cards to families. Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading were a part of the festivities, offering children summer reading programs. 

    The Book-Rich Environments Initiative is just getting started and with partners like these, it's going to change lives!

    If you'd like to learn more about the Book-Rich Environments Initiative:

    Read the press release to see the intiative's partners and leadership cohort.

    Learn about the 270,000 books that have been shipped to PHAs across the country.

    Find who to contact to get involved.

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  • Reading Success by 4th Grade in the News

    Sally Fuller, the community lead for Springfield, Mass. wrote in to us to share the success they're seeing with their summer reading programs. 

    "Through the work of our summer leaning workgroup, we developed a city-wide summer reading project, aligned with the Springfield City Library’s Summer Reading Club, in which all participating programs – including the Springfield Public Schools’ summer school for rising 3rd graders – pledge to have all children read for 20 minutes every day. 

    This project represents a great partnership within the city’s summer learning community and it was totally the idea of the summer learning workgroup participants!

    We are tallying the # of minutes read by all participating children and so far, in the first three weeks of summer learning programing, there have been 11,129 20-minute reading sessions done by 9 programs (the SPS summer school is considered one program) for a total of 222,580 minutes read.


    Program aims to keep students reading at grade level in the summer – July 25, 2017

    Springfield students rack up the summer reading minutes, as part of program to increase literacy – July 25, 2017

    Molly-Goren Watts. our data partner from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, will keep the tally going and we will be announcing the minutes read across the city once more during the summer and then at the end. 

    Please watch the WWLP segment and see the young camper so articulate about  summer reading. And check out the photos from, as Dave Roback captured to joy of the event!!"

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