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Strengthening Early Childhood Success at Home and Nationwide

Posted on December 09, 2019 by The Patterson Foundation
What began as a small group of communities working together to find solutions for one of the major obstacles in the pathway out of poverty — the failure to read on grade-level by the end of third grade — has become a massive network of communities and cross-sector entities aligned in their commitment toward creating better futures for children and families through the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (GLR Campaign).

Continuing its support for the nationwide movement to increase childhood success among children in asset-limited families, The Patterson Foundation has contributed an additional $250,000 to the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. The foundation has been a longtime supporter of the Campaign, contributing more than $1.5 million to strengthen its efforts while providing strategy and capacity-building support as an Anchor Funder since 2013.

This contribution will support the national network of communities working to build better futures for America’s asset-limited children by ensuring all children read on grade-level by the end of third grade. The GLR Campaign includes more than 300 communities in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada.

“The momentum behind the nationwide movement toward third-grade success is vibrant in The Patterson Foundation’s home region, where these vital efforts continue to strengthen futures for our children and the families supporting their success,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “This momentum is proof of what is possible when we pull together our collective aspirations and strive to connect, share, and learn from each other.”

Currently, 80 percent of children from asset-limited families are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade.

The GLR Campaign works with communities to engage a broad base of stakeholders to improve school readiness, attendance, and summer learning opportunities, which are key to a child’s future academic success. In addition, it emphasizes strategies to help parents serve as their children’s first teachers while connecting families with health resources to reduce societal challenges associated with reading on grade-level.

“The Patterson Foundation has been steadfast in its understanding of and support for our community mobilizing strategy,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “We are grateful for this grant and ongoing support.”

Beyond this gift, The Patterson Foundation is engaged in ongoing GLR Campaign efforts in Florida, including working with the Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign and serving as a lead partner of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which encompasses Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. The Suncoast Campaign has earned a variety of accolades for its work to help children achieve grade-level reading proficiency, including multiple Pacesetter Honors, one of the highest awards presented by the GLR Campaign, and the prestigious All-America City Award. This year, the Suncoast Campaign was recognized as one of six communities to receive Pacesetter Honors for all three of the GLR Campaign’s criteria for the award.

Visit for more information about the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

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