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Campaign for Grade Level Reading continues to grow . . .

Jan 10 2015


“Our public schools cannot do this on their own,” If we’re going to increase our graduation rates and close achievement gaps, we need mobilized communities working with schools, city agencies, nonprofits, civic leaders and parents to focus on third grade reading”. 

– Ralph Smith, Managing Director of the GLR Campaign and  Senior Vice President of the Annie E. Casey Foundation


 Launched in May 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is “a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship”.   Communities across America have resolved to work collaboratively to increase the number of children reading at n grade level by the end of third grade.   Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a milestone on a child’s path to high school graduation and later success because it marks the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Students who have not mastered reading by that time are more likely to drop out of school and struggle throughout their lives.

According to In a January, 2015 press release, the Campaign announced that Grade-Level Reading Communities Network now covered nearly 25% of America’s population.  This translates into 41 states across the country, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands who have now have recognized the problem and committed to increase the number of children reading at grade level by the end of third grade. Each of these communities has chosen to focus community wide efforts to address three underlying challenges to young children and their families:

  • School Readiness—entering kindergarten already behind
  • School Attendance— missing too many days of school
  • Summer Learning—losing ground academically over the summer

Local initiatives all have access to experts and resources for assistance in addressing these challenges.  A&O was recently awarded the contract as the NY State lead and is providing this assistance to nine local networks in New York State, including New York City.  We have worked with networks to develop their coalitions, access ideas and resources relevant to their communities and provided materials and advice on all aspects of their work.


For further information, link to the Grade Level Reading web site http://gradelevelreading.net/  or reach out to Cynthia O’Connor at Cynthia@apteroconnor.com