Paterson, NJ

Paterson Education Fund, Convenor

A Community Collaboration of the Paterson Alliance

Paterson Reads, a community collaboration of the Paterson Alliance, with the Paterson Education Fund as convenor, supports Dr. Evans’ call for improved student achievement.

Paterson Education Fund stimulates community action for change so that the Paterson Public Schools ensure that all children reach high standards. For over 30 years, PEF has helped educate Paterson community leaders at all levels about the educational needs of Paterson children. Through forums, workshops, partnerships and direct programming, PEF provides access to information and training. As convenor of Paterson Reads, PEF continues to provide leadership to improve literacy in Paterson.

The Paterson Alliance’s mission is to advance the quality of life in the City of Paterson through the creation of community partnerships and collaborations. With more than 60 not-fot-profit members spanning the gamut of community services, the Paterson Alliance builds a more vibrant Paterson.

Focused specifically on reading on grade level by 3rd grade, Paterson Reads aligns community resources to improve summer learning, increase early learning and improve attendance by reducing chronic absenteeism. Now at the midpoint of our second year, Paterson Reads is pleased to report in its progress and future plans.

Improving Summer Learning

During the summer of 2013, Paterson Reads expanded the Paterson Public Library summer reading program, reaching more than 2,017 students with books, reading circles and literacy activities. Twenty-one agencies joined the Library’s three branches in providing enhanced reading opportunities using the national Collaborative Summer Library Program with the theme, “Dig Into Reading.” This year’s outreach increased the number of students served from 1,309 to 2,017 and from thirteen agencies to 21.

Increasing Early Learning

Working with New Jersey Reach Out and Read, we funded an additional pediatrics practice reaching an additional 1,425 children. Endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Reach Out and Read” has one of the strongest records of research support of any primary care intervention. Studies show that parents that get books and literacy counseling from their doctors and nurses are more likely to read to their young children, read to them more often, and provide more books in the home. Low-income children exposed to Reach Out and Read show improvements in language development, a critical component of school readiness. We also sponsored a day-long conference on “Creating a Pipeline to Pre-school.”

Increasing Attendance

Paterson Reads worked with the Paterson Public Schools to implement Breakfast After the Bell to help increase on time attendance. In 2012-13 Breakfast After the Bell was piloted at School 8. Plans for 2013-14 include expansion to 18 additional schools. Paterson Reads members also serve on the Paterson Public Schools’ Attendance Committee to improve student and staff attendance across the district. In September 2013, CBS donated three billboards to support our attendance campaign.

Future plans:

  • create a pipeline from home day care to pre-k to kindergarten to reach the 30% of Paterson children who do not attend pre-school

  • expand the 2014 summer reading program to 2,500 students in more than 30 programs with the theme “Fizz, Boom, Read!

  • expand outreach to Latino parents through a peer learning program, Abriendo Puertas

  • increase attendance through Breakfast after the Bell and Safe Routes to School

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  • Great work! The tracking of your work is on point. What is the Breakfast after the Bell?

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