Grade-level reading momentum is building

Grade-level reading momentum is building

Posted on September 22, 2016 by The Patterson Foundation

Over the past several years, The Patterson Foundation has exemplified the “more than money” relationship between the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and its Enterprise Investors. A relationship that mirrors the compelling testimony nationwide -- that time, talent and sweat equity can and are making a difference, especially when energized by strong leaders. The Patterson Foundation has been a highly valued partner, a provider of technical assistance and support, an executive coach and an exemplar of philanthropic engagement at the local, regional, state and national levels. The GLR Campaign is a stronger catalytic force and more effective backbone organization because of this multilayered support. Our goal is this: By 2020 increase by at least 100 percent the number of children from low-income families reading proficiently by the end of third grade. Thanks to the support of The Patterson Foundation and other smart investors, the Campaign -- now 285 communities strong -- can report progress on practically every measure that matters to its 2015 and 2016 milestones. These are just some of the highlights:

  • Improving third-grade reading proficiency, school readiness, attendance/chronic absence and summer learning for children from low-income families have emerged as priorities for public officials and influential constituencies across the nation.
  • Early learning, healthy on-track development and successful parents today are more widely recognized as essential contributors to success in the early grades.
  • As we approach the latter half of 2016, communities in the Grade-Level Reading Network are serving as proof points for improving school readiness, attendance/chronic absence, summer learning and reading proficiency in the early grades.

Accelerated by support from The Patterson Foundation, The Huddle, the Campaign's online community, is connecting more than 1,500 leaders from 200 network communities. Led by the strategic counsel and reflections of Debra Jacobs, The Patterson Foundation's president and CEO, the organization is committed to the sense of shared ownership of the goal; joint accountability for its attainment; a focus on the most vulnerable children; improvised solutions to data-sharing challenges; a tilt toward investing time, attention and dollars in what’s working; and an emerging acknowledgment that, like leadership, stewardship matters. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s action plan for the second half of its decade-long run will seek to solidify and accelerate the progress promised by the proof point communities. As importantly, that action plan will recognize that we currently define and measure “progress” consistent with the better-known of the two challenges captured in the 2020 goal — that of moving the needle. As more communities continue to own and make strides, we move forward with enthusiasm with partners like The Patterson Foundation by our side.

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