William Fay's Posts (14)

  • More than Money Philanthropy as a driver of GLR community efforts to help more low-income children and families succeed in the early grades was a big topic at the 2017 GLR Funder Huddle.

    During a plenary session in Denver, philanthropic leaders  said the core elements of the approach that’s emerged across many of the 450 state and local funders supporting Campaign communities includes:

    • Putting a stake in the ground around third-grade reading and pursuing that result across borders between early years/early grades, education and health
    • Co-owning strategies and accountability for results with grantees, partners and other funders
    • Augmenting dollar investments with backbone support, technical assistance and strategic advice
    • Leveraging grants with new fiscal tools, data and public funding
    • Stewarding the vision and commitment during transitions
    • Joining other funders in coalitions to advance and accelerate progress

    GLR Support Center Director Ron Fairchild said many of those elements were front and center when he visited Nashville last month for a series of forums with local leaders on on the city’s recently developed Blueprint for Early Childhood Success.

    Developed by the Nashville Literacy Collaborative, spearheaded by local government, the Nashville Public Library, Metro Nashville Public Schools and the  Nashville Public Education Foundation during 2017 with input from more than 200 community, civic and philanthropic leaders, the Blueprint is the city’s strategy to double the number of third graders reading on grade level by 2025.

    “The Blueprint is one of the most comprehensive and well thought out action plans for 3rd grade level reading success that we’ve seen,” Fairchild said. “It has strong support from every sector of the community, is rooted in best practice and good data, and puts a process in place to report annually on progress toward the 2025 goal. The challenge now is to make the pivot from planning to implementation.”

    The Blueprint includes a strategy launched by Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Shawn Joseph that pilots enhanced literacy supports in six elementary schools, as well as plan to scale up what works from those schools across the district. In addition, it spells out enhanced data sharing and parent support programs to combat chronic absence and special hours for public libraries to curb summer learning loss.

    The Scarlett Family Foundation and other local funders have been key to building awareness of and support for the Blueprint, in addition to funding its development.

    Philanthropies that fund education initiatives in the city have begun to meet informally to make sure their efforts are aligned with Blueprint Strategies. They also are supporting the Collective Impact Catalyst at Nashville’s Center for Non-Profit Management, which will help put Blueprint recommendations into action.

    “The Blueprint shows how we’re coming together in Nashville around the idea that philanthropy means more than funding or just funding one effort,” said Tara Scarlett, president and CEO of the Scarlett Family Foundation.

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  • Roanoke Sets Sights on Parent Success

    A two-time winner of the All America City-Grade Level Reading Award and a 2016 GLR Pacesetter, the city of Roanoke is doubling down on helping parents succeed as their children's first teacher, brain buider, tech navigator, advocate and coach.

    Following a community celebration last month with Campaign Manager Director Ralph Smith, leaders of Star City Reads are looking at how best to support parents in all those critical roles.

    "Now the focus is shifting to supporting families and parent engagment," said Marrisa Blankinship, Community Services Assistant for Roanoke Pubic Libraries-- the lead organization for the local GLR campaign. Star City Reads partners will re-convene for a community project to see how they can identify and close gaps in services for low-income children and families before they all through cracks, she said.

    In addition, Roanoke leaders also will work to identify and tap into the social networks families trust and get their input on what they need to help strenghten and empower parents of young children.

    At the celebration, Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea (pictured at right) said the city also must work to assure all children start school healthy and ready to learn. 

    "While our city has made great progress there is more we can do. We can make sure our kids are healthy enough to go to kindergarten and healthy enought go to school every day," he said. "We can build a book rich city that encourage learning at all ages. An investment in our children's educaiton is an investment in our city's future."

    Smith praised Roanoke for its progress not only in moving the needle on third grade reading proficiency, but also in closing the gap on that measure between low-income children and their better off peers. In 2012-13, 60.5 percent of low-income students passed the state's reading test, compared to 73.5 percent last year. That 13 percentage point gain is better than the rate for all 3rd graders in Roanoke CIty Public Schools -- 11 percent, or from 65.1 percent in 2012-13 to 76.1 percent last year. 

    Roanoke also has made gains in summer learning, school readiness and school attendance since 2012-13. Smith attributed Roanoke's success in part to a set of factors shared by other GLR communities making progress, inclduing shared ownership of the goal of improving third grade reading proficiency for low-income children and joint accountability for results among the 28 members of the Star City Reads coalition. In addition city leaders such as Mayor Lea, RPS Superintendent Rita Bishop and Shelia Umberger, director of Roanoke Public Libaries have played invaluable roles in the Campaign since it started in 2012.

    "What you have in Roanoke are a number of people who see themselves as stewards of this effort, who understand this is a long game and if we want to win the long game, we have to have people who are going to be around for a while," he said.

    Smith affirmed the city's move to accelerate focus on parent success.

    "My challenge to you is take ont the Wayne Gretsky approach: Do not skate to where the puck is but to where it's going to be. Over the next several years, you will hear the Campaign becoming increasingly insistent that we have to take on the only 100 percent solution we know ...  helping parents be the best parents they can be. We have to take that up because that is where the puck will be. What is our responsiblity and obligation, and what is the opporutnity, to engage parents meaningfully so that they can be agents of change and full partners in heping their kids find the path out of poverty?"

    Update: Go here to listen to interviews with Mayor Lea, Umberger, Bishop and Smith.

     

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  • Salt Lake City leaders formally received 2017 Pacesetter Honors earlier this month during a gathering of the regional council for the  Promise Partnership, the region's collective impact governing body overseen by the United Way of Salt Lake.

    In presenting the Pacesetter certificate to the Council, Campaign Managing Director Ralph Smith noted Salt Lake's exemplary work to success, scale and sustainability, including a commitment to drive with data and prioritize children and families who are especially vulnerable, use of Results Based Accountability and Result Based Leadership frameworks to keep the focus on moving the needle on community-level outcomes, promote parent success and reach out to the most vulnerable children, including those in public housing.

    The 40-member council incudes leaders from the business, community, educaiton, government, civic and philanthropic sectors, and had covened collective action workgroups around school readiness, grade level reading, high school graduation and college completion.

    "Ralph did a great job validating the time and energy the council spends on this work, especially given how difficul it is to bring leaders from across different sectors together and keep them committed and focused over the long haul," said Scott McLeod, Vice President of Collective Impact for the United Way of Salt Lake. "We've gained some experience here with what is often an ambigous process, working across sectors in new ways. It's commendable when leaders are open to that process."

    Smith also attended the executive committee meeting of the United Way of Salt Lake Board of Directors, where he noted the importance of the United Way movement to the Campaign. In 2017, more than 178 United Ways were member of local Campaign coaliitons, and 52 Untied Ways served as coaltion leads or co-leads. He also noted the unique role Salt Lake United Way plays as a backbone entity for the Campaign and related collective impact efforts.

    “What sets (UWSL) apart from others is its understanding of how to coordinate work across the community, its focus on data to assure accountability and its ability to identify sustainability issues that its work may face,” Smith said in an interview with the United Way's Kelly Schmidt that focused on efforts by Salt Lake's Elementary Reading Network to curb summer learning loss through literacy enriched summer learning programs. In Salt Lake City's Granite School District, the programs resulted in a .5 percent increase in students' standardized reading test scores for every day attended in 2017.

     

     

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  • At this month’s American Public Television Station Summit, general managers and volunteers from Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations across the country gathered to advocate for the benefits free educational programming delivers to millions of children and families every day. 

    Public television's role in ensuring families can access high-quality help in promoting their children's early literacy and healthy social and emotional development made PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) among the GLR Campaign's first National Partners.

    In addition, the Campaign honored PBS and CPB in 2015 as Pacesetter Partners.

    And, as the Campaign accelerates work to help communities build 24/7/365 systems of service and care for low-income families whose kids are falling beyond the reach of schools, public television is emerging as even a more crucial ally. 

    The summit marked the one-year anniversary of the launch of PBS-Kids 24/7, which has made the award winning children’s channel available to more than 95 percent of U.S. households with a television. Data compiled by PBS since the launch says time spent viewing PBS stations is up 85 percent among low-income families and 65 percent among broadcast-only homes.

    Said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger " It was two years ago at this very summit that we announced we were going to launch a 24/7 children's channel. And as you hear tonight, PBS Kids 24/7 has deepened engagement across both broadcast and digital platforms, in turn extending the impact of our work and making a real difference in the lives of millions of families."

    "We will continue to serve children with educational content that expands their horizons and prepares them for success in school and life ... it is that relentless commitment to our educational mission that has helped us earn the public's high level of trust year after year." 

    Added Leslie Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children's Media and Education at PBS, “These kids were watching a lot of tv during those hours but they didn't have a safe and educational option. Now, thanks to your stations, all of that has changed. At the same time, you continue to reach more children in low-income homes than any other children's network on your primary channel.” 

    Public media is part of the 24/7/365 system of care and services needed for low-income children and their families, many of whom have fallen beyond the reach of schools due to lack of school readiness, chronic absence and summer learning loss, said Ralph Smith, managing director of the GLR Campaign, at the summit.

    “What you have done with PBS Kids is to take us a big step down the road,” Smith said. “We can imagine that those kids during their early years will have access to highly quality programming. We can imagine that that kid who is staying home due to asthma due to mold in the home or school can have access to high quality programming and we can imagine that kid for whom there is summer plan can have access to high quality programming. that is the contribution you are making as public television stations to kids not only in one community but to kids in all communities.”

    In his remarks, Smith also invoked the memory of Fred Rogers, whose groundbreaking show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, turned 50 this month.

    “Fred Rogers reminded us about the power of imagination And when I think of Fred Rogers, believe it or not, I think of 9-11 and the Commission's Report -- that greater than the failure of tactics, planning, management, or intelligence was the failure of imagination," Smith said.

    "So much of the work we do is confronting the problems that occur because of the failures of imagination. I want to believe that, in the spirit of Fred Rodgers, that were this room to convene 49 years from now we can say PBS Kids 24/7 helped us imagine we could do better for these kids who were falling off the edge and beyond the reach of schools. Imagine that it helped us believe it and to act on it. Because what crystalizes the moral imperative to act is the knowledge and belief that acting will make a difference.”

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • In a ceremony last month with Governor Kim Reynolds, the Campaign for Grade Level Reading formally presented Iowa with the GLR Pacesetter Award for exemplary statewide contributions to early school success. 

    "Iowa is proud to be recognized as a Pacesetter by the Campaign for Grade Level Reading,” said Governor Reynolds. “This award recognizes what Iowans have known for a long time: If we want kids reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade, on a path to high school graduation and career success, then it will take local leaders, educators, businesses, community foundations, colleges and universities working together to make sure that happens for all our children."

    Ralph Smith, Managing Director of the Campaign, noted Iowa’s achievements in recent years. They include emergence of a statewide philanthropic network, steady leadership at the local and state level, and passage of the the state’s Early Literacy Law – which led to development of early warning and response systems to aid struggling readers.

    Such accomplishments have helped Iowa expand from six Campaign communities in 2012 to seven in 2017, with Ames, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Dubuque, Dyersville, and Quad Cities earning community Pacesetter Honors last year.

    Council Bluffs, Des Moines, and Dubuque also won the 2017 All America City-Grade Level Reading Award.

    Iowa GLR leaders gathered with Smith before and after the ceremony to explore how to build on their success.

    Suzanne Mineck, president and CEO of the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, helped lead a consultative discussion with the state GLR leaders.

    Capacity to learn from a range of divergent viewpoints about how to assure more low-income kids are healthy and prepared for success in the early grades was one theme that emerged from the discussion, Mineck noted.

    For example, many advocates and policy makers agree quality early health care is critical to moving the needle on third grade reading proficiency.

    But big questions remain on the policy and funding changes needed to help service providers and state systems reach the kids and families who need help the most.

    “Whose role is it to meet these varied and complex needs of our children and families?” said Mineck. “That is where you get varied opinions … how to do we engage in that dialog so that there is a collective role and responsibility to better address those needs and barriers earlier rather than later.”

    Kari McCann Boutell, president of the Iowa Council of Foundations, said another sign of progress is the formation of the Education Funders Network, a group of about 30 local and state foundations that supports Iowa Campaign communities.  

    The Network helps advance the notion of “more than money” philanthropy, Boutell said.

    In many communities, funders were at the table from the start and play a backbone role in convening partners and keeping the work moving forward with their leadership and expertise.

    “That is not something philanthropy has been great on in the past couple years,” she noted. “The Campaign has asked for that commitment and funders in Iowa have risen to the challenge.”

    Jean Kresse, president and CEO of the United Way of Storey Countyand leader of the Ames Campaign for Grade Level Reading – which won a Pacesetter in 2016 for its work to improve school readiness and attendance -- liked celebrating progress with an eye on doing more of what works.

    That includes leveraging the statewide network of GLR communities and funders, she said.

    “Having someone like (GLR Senior Consultant and Iowa lead) Becky Miles Polka in our state to help us is a big plus. She’s been the connecting link. I can call Quad Cities or Cedar Rapids and know we are all working toward the same results.”

    The ability to call on the GLR Support Center and tap into the expertise of Campaign partners such as Attendance Works also helps communities like Ames connect to the national movement around grade level reading.

    “I think that gives us credibility,” Kresse said. “It would fall flat if we could not convene partners, but we have a leg up and a head start because have a state and national network. The governor knows who we are.”

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  • For low-income children and families, access to quality early learning and care does a lot more than help assure 3rd grade reading proficiency, said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, earlier this week at a leadership dinner for North Carolina State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues 2018 Forum.
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  • “We know enough to do better, but we lack the personal courage and the political will to reorganize the systems in which we work, to demand the policy changes which would produce better results, to spend what we do differently and demonstrate that we can get better results, and to care enough about those kids falling beyond the reach of schools.” -- Ralph Smith, Managing Director, Campaign for Grade Level Reading.
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  • Four inducted into GLR Council of Champions

    During the 2017 GLR Week in Denver, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading inducted four individuals into its Council of Champions

    Rhonda Lauer

    Rhonda H. Lauer serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Foundations, Inc., a national nonprofit organization committed to improving the quality of education for all children. Ms. Lauer has guided Foundations' strategic growth over the past 20 years, focusing on three critical areas of impact: improving schools and school systems, transforming out-of-school time, and engaging families and communities in education.

    Under Ms. Lauer’s leadership, Foundations has convened the annual Beyond School Hours® National Education Conference for the past two decades. The conference offers educators the tools and knowledge they need to transform their students into lifelong readers. With grade-level reading and literacy as a consistent and popular content strand, hundreds of workshops have been offered to those working across the learning day to help students build the strong language and literacy skills critical to their success

    Dr. Martha Bruckner

    Dr. Martha Bruckner is superintendent of Iowa’s Council Bluffs School District. Since she took on the job in 2007, Dr. Bruckner has been a state and national leader in connecting the dots between school readiness, attendance and summer learning in ways that help assure third-grade reading success.

    In her last year as Superintendent in 2016, Council Bluffs made significant gains in school readiness, school attendance, summer learning and overall grade-level reading for children from low-income families. From spring 2014 to spring 2016, in Council Bluffs Community School District the percentage of children meeting kindergarten readiness criteria rose more than 10 points, from 82.2 percent to 92.7 percent. The percentage of first graders who were chronically absent fell from 6.9 percent in 2012–13 to 5.3 percent in 2014–15. The percentage of second graders improving their reading proficiency levels over the summer increased from 7.7 percent in 2015 to 12.5 percent in 2016. There was also an increase in the percentage of third-grade children reading at the proficient level, from 28.7 percent in 2014 to 44.4 percent in 2016.

    State and local education leaders say Council Bluffs is proof positive of how school districts do best for low-income kids when goals are clear, resources are used wisely and – most important – the leadership is inspirational. Especially in her work to promote grade-level reading success, Dr. Bruckner also demonstrates how schools and communities can mobilize together to assure more hopeful futures for vulnerable kids. In the process, she helped set the pace for other school district and civic leaders across the state.

    Mike Johnston

    As one of the primary sponsors of the Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act, former State Senator Mike Johnston demonstrated how knowledge about an issue is formed not just by research and evidence but also by the wisdom of lived experience.

    In addition to graduating from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and becoming one of the nation’s leading education reform experts, Johnston’s experience includes teaching for two years in the Mississippi Delta and serving as principal of a public high school that became one of the first in Colorado history to send all its graduating seniors to college.

    Johnston helped assure that the Colorado READ Act, passed by the legislature in 2012, accelerated emphasis on rigorous kindergarten-through-grade-three literacy instruction and development of individual intervention plans for students reading below proficient level in those grades.

    With his leadership on the READ Act, Johnston helped Colorado put a stake in the ground on grade-level reading by the end of third grade, making it a policy priority; a target for increased public, private and philanthropic investment; a performance measure for schools and school districts; and a catalyst for civic action. He showed how policymakers can translate their experience and values into bold action, driven by a ferocious belief in the ability of all children to succeed.

    Sandra Gutierrez

    Sandra Gutierrez is the Founder and National Director of Abriendo Puertas /Opening Doors, the nation’s first evidence-based, comprehensive training program developed for and with Latino parents with young children.

    Since its founding in 2007, Abriendo Puertas has worked with more than 400 family-serving organizations to provide its curriculum in Spanish and English to some 80,000 parents in 300 cities across the United States. Training is based on an appreciation for the wisdom parents and communities already possess, and on a belief that parents are the experts when it comes to raising their children.

    Under the leadership of Ms. Gutierrez, Abriendo Puertas has thus helped lead a movement not just to engage low-income parents in work to assure low-income children are healthy and prepared to succeed in school, but to empower them as their children’s primary brain developers, first teachers and best advocates.

    Ms. Gutierrez also has played a key role in the development of “two-generation” approaches that seek to simultaneously provide opportunities for low-income children and their parents through coordinated preschool and workforce development programs and other strategies. She has also advised efforts to build the cultural competence and capacity of schools and other institutions to engage and empower parents effectively.

    Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, noted the four join former Providence Mayor Angel Tavares, who was named a GLR Champion in October, 2014 and Kansas City Mayor Sylvester "Sly" James, who was recognized in Spring 2016, on the Council.

    Smith used the induction ceremony to announce the Campaign's plans to support GLR Communities in identifying, selecting and recognizing up to 1000 GLR Champions during the next 18 months.

    Champions can be exemplary volunteers, early care and education providers, school and civic leaders, public officials and others who communities nominate based on their alliance with and support for local and state-wide efforts to support early grade success, Smith said to about 400 people attending the 2017 All America Cities-Grade Level Reading Award ceremony.

     

     "We expect the criteria will be broad and flexible and each community will decide each year who are the one, two three or four people who are their Champions."

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  • Early care and education providers and parent advocates from across the country convened last month in Washington, D.C. for Child Care Aware of America's annual Policy Summit on Capitol Hill. GLR Managing Director Ralph Smith participated in a panel exploring one of the summit's hot topics -- navigating the philanthropic landscape during changes in federal administrations.

    Joining Smith on the panel were M. Gasby Brown, CEO of Bridge Philanthropic Consulting and a faculty member at the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy’s Fund Raising School, Tasha L. Cole, Vice President, Resource Development for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Alex Daniels, a staff writer for The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Todd M. Yeatts, Senior Manager for Government Operations at Boeing.

    Dawn Brown, Director of Business Development and Fundraising for CCAA, moderated the panel and afterwards noted that the crowd of about 50 child care advocates, providers and parents left with a renewed focus on working their respective networks to build enduring relationships with foundations, corporations and individual donors.

    "People definitely felt they walked away with new strategies to consider for their development plans for the next year and with a better understanding of the landscape," she said. Smith helped participants put the changes in federal administrations within historical context and made clear the vital contributions child care providers and parents make to children's early development and literacy, which are crucial to 3rd grade reading success, Brown added.

    Smith also noted that in a resource-challenged environment, child care providers and their supporters must show not only how many children they are serving but the difference they are making in their overall well-being and how they are helping parents succeed as brain developers and first teachers. 'Organized philanthropy has a bias for problem solving," he said.

     

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  • Over 300 Early care and education providers and parent advocates from across the country convened last month in Washington, D.C. for Child Care Aware® of America's (CCAoA) annual Policy Summit on Capitol Hill. GLR Managing Director Ralph Smith participated in a panel exploring one of the summit's hot topics -- navigating the philanthropic landscape during changes in federal administrations.

    Joining Smith on the panel were M. Gasby Brown, CEO of Bridge Philanthropic Consulting and a faculty member at the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy’s Fund Raising School, Tasha L. Cole, Vice President, Resource Development for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Alex Daniels, a staff writer for The Chronicle of Philanthropy Todd M. Yeatts, Senior Manager for Government Operations at Boeing.

    Dawn L. Brown, Director of Business Development and Fundraising for CCAoA, moderated the panel and afterwards noted that the crowd of about 50 child care advocates, providers and parents left with a renewed focus on working their respective networks to build enduring relationships with foundations, corporations and individual donors.

    "The philanthropy panel was one of our overall highest-rated sessions on our Policy Panel Participant Surveys. People definitely felt they walked away with new strategies to consider for their development plans for the fiscal next year and with a better understanding of the landscape," she said. Smith helped participants put changes in federal administration's in historical context and made clear the vital contributions child care providers and parents make to children's early development and literacy, which are crucial to 3rd grade reading success, Brown added.

    Smith also noted that in a resource-challenged environment, child care providers and their supporters must show not only how many children they are serving but the difference they are making in their overall well-being and how they are helping parents succeed as brain developers and first teachers. 'Organized philanthropy has a bias for problem solving," he said.

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  • GLR Campaign Managing Director Ralph Smith spoke earlier this month to the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C. It is one of the oldest Rotary Clubs in America -- established in 1912, about six years after the founding of Rotary International. Smith noted the Club's efforts to promote literacy in the nation's capital, including distribution of free dictionaries to about 50,000 third graders since 2006. He also praised the nearly two dozen Rotary Clubs that are part of local GLR Campaign Coalitions across they country. 

    Literacy is one of Rotary International's six core service goals, and clubs around the world seek to strengthen the ability of local communities to assure all youth and adults are able to read.

    "We were moved by Ralph's story that an alarming number of children -- about 67 percent nationwide and 80 percent of those from low-income families -- are not proficient readers by the end of third grade," said DC Rotary Club President Ross Grantham. "The Campaign's commitment to reverse this trend means a lot to Rotary, an organization committed over its entire 112-year history to service those in need. We applaud the Campaign's efforts and look forward to staying connected as their hard work to find common sense solutions at federal, state and local levels continues."

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  • Earlier this month, GLR Campaign Managing Director Ralph Smith and Ron Fairchild, Director of the GLR Support Center, updated the National Civic League Board on the 2017 All-America Cities Grade-Level Reading Award, which will mark the second time since 2012 that the nation's premier award for civic vitality has focused on increasing early grade-level reading proficiency for low-income children.

    Smith and Fairchild thanked the League for catalyzing the growth of the Campaign's Network through the 2012 Awards, which honored the first cohort of AAC-GLR honorees and have led to a Communities Network that has grown from about 120 communities that year to more than 300 in 2017, including more than 2500 local organizations and 250 state and local funders, including 230 United Ways. The National Civic League also has helped amplify the Campaign's messages to civic leaders nationally about the importance of school readiness, attendance, summer learning and parent success.

    "Our partnership with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a natural, since community education efforts often lend themselves to civic engagement. We are inspired by the many stories of Campaign communities rallying around the cause of improving opportunities for young people," said NCL President Douglas Linkhart. "The Campaign’s push for collaboration and measurable outcomes meshes perfectly with our call for civic engagement to make everyone part of the solution to issues like early literacy."

     

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  • Ralph Smith Awarded Champion of Children Honor

    At the 20th Annual Beyond School Hours Conference, GLR Managing Director Ralph Smith was awarded the Champion of Children's Award, given by conference sponsor Foundations Inc.. in recognition of outstanding commitment to helping the nation's most vulnerable children and families achieve brighter futures through quality education.

    Foundations, Inc. CEO and President Rhonda Lauer praised Smith and the Campaign for making grade-level reading by the end of third grade a policy and practice priority for communities large and small across the country.

    Something is wrong when 65 percent of fourth graders in public schools are reading below proficiency level in 2015, Lauer said. Thanks to the Campaign  “finally we have governors, mayors and city councils talking about getting kids to read on grade level.”

    In a videotaped message, Annie E. Casey Foundation President Patrick McCarthy praised Smith's "rare combination of brilliance, commitment, and passion,"  his work leading Casey's Making Connections initiative to improve the lives of vulnerable families living in poverty, and his mentorship of hundreds of leaders in the child and family advocacy field.

    In his remarks, Smith thanked the 1500 school-and-community based after-school and summer program providers in attendance at the event for giving voice to the fact that "schools can't do it alone ... and the understanding that schools can't do it alone sits at the core of a movement that brings all of us to this room and charges us all to do what we can to help."

    GLR Support Center Director Ron Fairchild moderated a panel at the conference, Creating High Impact Approaches to Grade Level Reading and Literacy, with Lauer, Jane Quinn, Director of the National Center for Community Schools,  Sylvia Lyles, Director of the Office of Academic Improvement Programs for the U.S. Department of Education, and Debra Mahone, grants project director for Elgin Independent School District in Elgin, Texas. Panelists agreed that community-school partnerships must make steady and intentional efforts to focus on results, use good data and engage in smart advocacy.

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  • By All Means will define success as: students can get and hold a 21st Century, high-skill, high-knowledge job that enables them to support a family; students become informed citizens and active learners; and students become heads of families and lifelong, fulfilled learners. Provocative questions and thinking are part of what will define the work of By All Means, which aims to develop comprehensive child well-being and education systems in the GLR Campaign cities of Oakland, Louisville,…
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