More than 120 cities, towns, and counties have pledged to improve literacy among their youngest residents as part of a national initiative sponsored by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
The communities had to submit detailed plans for how they will get children on track to be grade-level readers by the end of the 3rd grade, the crucial point at which students shift from learning to read to reading to learn. The national campaign is a project of several funders headed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which invests heavily in efforts to improve early childhood. Cities as large as Los Angeles and Chicago are part of the network, along with smaller communities such as Gulfport, Miss., and Eau Claire, Wis.
As part of its plans to improve early literacy, each community has proposed strategies for addressing three key issues that affect the development of children’s reading skills: school readiness, school attendance, and summer learning time.
Cities with the best plans will be recognized by the National Civic League, which is administering the contest, in June.
A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 2012 edition of Education Week as Nation’s Cities Pledge to Target Early Reading