Weekly Round-Up, February 28, 2014

Weekly Round-Up, February 28, 2014

Colleagues,

“The more that you read,

The more things you will know.

The more that you learn,

The more places you’ll go.”

In I Can Read With My Eyes Shut, famous children’s author Dr. Seuss rhymes about all the ways you can read and why reading is so important. To celebrate his birthday next week, join the National Education Association as they Read Across America. On Monday, March 3, teachers, children, parents and community members will kick off a week of reading and reading-themed activities across the nation.

Whether you use the resources of Read Aloud 15 Minutes or look for ideas on the Read Across America Facebook page, this celebration is a great way to introduce daily reading activities, energize volunteers and bring communities together to share the joy of reading. Connect with a Read Across America event in your community. (Scroll down to see the map.)

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

  • This week’s featured Tell Our Story submission is from the Quad Cities community in Illinois and Iowa. They recently updated their story to cover the development of a data warehouse, which will pool information gathered from eight school districts. With the ability to track student reading progress across programs and grades, and identify trends in different neighborhoods and demographics, they can develop targeted strategies to support children most in need. Read more.
  • Based on the success of Tell Our Story and the growing interest in what's happening in communities across the Network, the NCSC is launching a weekly publication called Bright Spots. That name may sound familiar to you because it also happens to be the same language we used at the beginning of the Campaign to describe programs and schools that had a track record of success tackling the challenges of school readiness, school attendance, summer learning and grade-level reading. At this stage of the Campaign, we thought it was only appropriate to re-purpose that title and use Bright Spots to capture the most inspiring and promising work that’s already underway in the more than 140 Grade-Level Reading communities in the Network that are implementing plans designed to achieve progress on school readiness, school attendance, summer learning, and grade-level reading by 2016.
  • In this week’s Bright Spot, Vero Beach brings together families, young athletes and community members to support regular reading and celebrate Read Across America! Click here to read more and download the Bright Spot one pager. To nominate a community for this feature, email Betsy Rubiner at brubiner@gradelevelreading.net. Self-nominations are encouraged!
  • Earlier this week, President Obama and 10 leading foundations announced a major initiative to improve prospects for young men of color. While this is an important and even historic event for many reasons, it will come as no surprise that this initiative has lifted up third-grade literacy as a critical developmental milestone and leverage point. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading views this as an important "win" for the civic leaders, public officials and concerned citizens in more than 140 communities who responded to our call and are mobilizing to increase by 100 percent the number of low-income children reading on grade level by the end of third grade. Click here to learn how you can use this opportunity, and see the press release here.
  • In the latest Attendance Works Driving With Data Webinar, Dr. Mary Conway, member of the GLR coalition in Vernon, Connecticut, will share how she used chronic absence data to raise awareness and support for attendance. Free resources for districts and schools will also be highlighted. The webinar is on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at 1-2:15 PM EST or 10-11:15 AM PST. Register here.
  • The General Mills Foundation's Champions for Healthy Kids program is looking to award fifty grants of $20,000 each to nonprofit organizations working to improve nutrition and physical fitness behaviors among youth between the ages of 2 and 18. The deadline for applications is March 14, 2014. Apply here.

Warmly,
Susanne

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.