About the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Making a Collective Impact on Education

Article

United Way became the lead convener of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in 2014. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a nationwide initiative dedicated to empowering young children to read at grade-level by the end of the third grade. 

Research shows that proficiency in reading by the end of third grade enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn, and to master the more complex subject matter they encounter in the fourth grade curriculum.

Most students who fail to reach this critical milestone falter in the later grades and often drop out before earning a high school diploma.

Yet two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders are not proficient readers, according to national reading assessment data. This disturbing statistic is made even worse by the fact that more than four out of every five low-income students miss this critical milestone.

The issues being addressed in the CGLR initiative is alignment with one of United Way’s already existing programs, the STAR Readers Program, which has the similar goal of helping students reach their full academic potential. However, with the CGLR, we hope to broaden the scale and make a collective impact, affecting and impacting the lives of the most children we can reach. 

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a unique and special effort in the way that it brings together stakeholders, community partners, agencies, and schools to work towards one common aspiration: to uphold the future of our youth.

What sets the campaign apart is how it tackles literacy and student education on 5 forefronts. Each of these challenges has been formed into Community Solutions with two representatives from participating agencies as leads of the group. The Community Solutions groups work interconnectedly so that as an improvement occurs in one focus group, it will positively affect the remaining groups, all gearing towards the ultimate goal of creating the optimal learning environment for elementary students. 

The Community Solutions are as follows:

  1. Chronic Absence /School Attendance – Optimize student learning by reducing chronic absence rates.
  2. Grade-Level Reading – Efforts will be focused on identifying the students who are in need and pairing up with the extra help needed to read at grade-level 
  3. Healthy Readers – Ensure students have access to developmental and health-related services.
  4. School Readiness – Provide families with opportunities to ensure their children are receiving early development care in order to ready them for academic success.
  5. Summer Learning Loss – Summer time is a critical period to ensure children retain their knowledge. This group aims to provide access to summer learning activities and programs.

Thank you to all the participating stakeholders:
916 Ink 
Always Knocking Inc.
AT&T
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Sacramento
California Department of Education After School Division Office 
Community Link 
Elk Grove Unified School District 
Fairytale Town 
First 5 Sacramento
Health Education Council
KVIE
La Familia Counseling Center 
LAFCC
Life Steps
Molina Healthcare of California 
Pacific Housing Inc. 
Parent Teacher Home Visit Project 
People Reaching Out 
Reading Partners
Roberts Family Development Center 
Robla Unified School District
Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center 
Sacramento County Office of Education
Sacramento County Unified School District 
Sacramento Food Bank 
Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency
Sacramento Public Library Foundation
Sacramento Reads
Sacramento State University 
San Juan Unified School District 
Teach for America
Twin Rivers Unified School District 
UC Davis School of Education 
The Urban Advocates & Achievers
Visions to Learn 
Youth Solutions 

For more information about the national efforts for Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, please visit http://gradelevelreading.net/