Weekly Round-Up, April 15, 2014

Weekly Round-Up, April 15, 2014


A retired Washington, D.C. teacher, working one on one with a struggling reader, has doubled that child’s reading scores. A Massachusetts couple has donated 800 hours of volunteer support to a first grade class at the local elementary school over four years.  An Arizona businessman, finishing his first year as a volunteer tutor, says: “This is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

These are among the nearly 40 volunteer tutors honored on the Volunteer Tutor Recognition Page we posted on our website for National Volunteer Week last week. Our activities included a guest blog post from Susan Hildreth, director of the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, and a flurry of activity on Facebook and Twitter.

We hope you enjoyed National Volunteer Week!

Here’s the latest news from the Network Communities Support Center:

  • In this week’s Bright Spot, Vernon, Connecticut developed a comprehensive and systemic plan to reduce chronic absence in seven local schools. Click here to read more or download the Bright Spot pdf. To nominate a community for this feature, email Betsy Rubiner at brubiner@gradelevelreading.net. Self-nominations are encouraged!
  • The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s Healthy Readers team has released a series of resource guides making the connection between health and learning in the early years. Growing Healthy Readers: Taking Action to Support the Health Determinants of Early School Success incorporates children’s health and learning priorities into action plans for improving school readiness, school attendance and summer learning. Each guide includes research documenting the effects on learning, strategies for improving outcomes and case studies of effective local programs. Beginning with the monthly webinar on May 1 we will highlight each guide with special content to help communities use the Guides to support their CSAPs.
  • Ralph Smith, the managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, has written a letter to the network sharing his gratitude for the work being done and news about the months ahead. Click here to read the letter.
  • The U.S. Department of Education has released a new Parent & Community Engagement Framework. This document is intended to serve as a model that schools can use to build meaningful partnerships with families and communities, and make schools the centers of community. Read more.
  • Summer Learning Day is coming on June 20th! Summer Learning Day is a national advocacy platform that can help the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading build awareness and inspire action for summer learning and reading across the network of Campaign communities. You can listen to the summer learning webinar, and learn about the 6 priorities and take the summer learning pledge here.
  • Attendance Awareness Month doesn't arrive until September, but we joined with other partners to launch preparations Tuesday with the release of a revised Count Us In! toolkit and a new website exclusively for materials and information. Click here for concrete steps to reduce chronic absence.
  • Last week’s webinar described the resources available to Network communities from School Readiness Partners. (You can listen to it here, along with the summer learning, attendance and NCSC menu webinars, as well as links to slide decks on this page.) Our next webinar will be on May 1 at 3 pm. (Register here.) This is the beginning of the regularly scheduled monthly webinars, on the first Thursday of every month at 3 p.m. ET. 


Almost all links in this message go to items posted on the Ning, a password-protected site for members of the Grade-Level Reading Network. If you are not yet a member, you may request access to the Ning by clicking here.