3rd Grade Reading Success Matters

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

2017 All-American City Awards: Session Resources



  • Using Assessment Data for Monitoring Measurable Progress in School Readiness
    How do we know if we are making measurable progress in school readiness? Assessment data can be confusing. This session will highlight the work in several Pacesetter communities and lift up how they have used data from different assessment approaches to monitor population-level progress. We will also learn about other ways that these assessments are used to strengthen children’s learning opportunities before and during kindergarten and inform parents and community stakeholders about the importance of building up children’s readiness for school.
    Ann Rosewater, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, moderator
    Dr. Martha Bruckner, Council Bluffs School District; Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Alex Kolker, United Way of the Quad Cities Area; Quad Cities, Ill. and Iowa
    Sherri Miller, Wake County Public School System; Wake County, N.C.
    Amy Neal, Metro United Way; Louisville, Ky.
    Session Documentation
  • United Ways and Partners Achieving Community-Wide School Readiness Progress
    United Ways have a history of strong support in the early childhood and school readiness systems in many GLR communities. This session will explore the unique GLR leadership roles that United Ways play along with local partners in building systems and supports for vulnerable families with young children to get them ready for school.
    Alicia Lara, United Way Worldwide, moderator
    Laura Columbus, United Way of East Central Iowa; Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Crystal Hall, Young Parents Network; Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Scott McLeod, United Way of Salt Lake; Salt Lake (Clearfield, Kearns, Park City and South Salt Lake), Utah
    Laurie Williamson, United Way of the Greater Triangle; Wake County; N.C.
    Slide Deck and Session Documentation
  • Innovation in Small- and Medium-Size Communities to Achieve Community-Wide Results in School Readiness
    School readiness strategies in small- and medium-size communities often require an all hands-on deck model. Partnerships that depend on highly trained volunteers, involve health providers, local media, early care providers and publicly supported systems are especially effective in reaching families. This session will share examples from rural and moderate-size communities that have pooled resources to make measurable progress in school readiness.
    Sammy Moon, Mississippi Association of Grantmakers, moderator
    Kim Hanna, Raising Readers in Story County; Ames, Iowa
    Carolyn Jons, Raising Readers in Story County; Ames, Iowa
    Jessica Pape, Dyersville Campaign for Grade-Level Reading; Dyersville, Iowa
    Suzanne Ryals, Oxford School District; Lafayette County-Oxford-University, Miss.
    Slide Deck and Session Documentation


  • Tackling Chronic Absence in Small- and Medium-Size Communities
    Small- and medium-size communities have unique challenges when developing strategies for reducing chronic absence. This session will highlight innovation in Arkansas, Florida and Iowa communities that have made measurable progress through partnerships with schools, local nonprofits and civic leaders.
    Sue Fothergill, Attendance Works, moderator
    Jean Kresse, United Way of Story County; Ames, Iowa
    Janet Meeks, City of Delray Beach; Delray Beach, Fla.
    Yonas Michael, Ames Community School District; Ames, Iowa
    Sylvia Moore, Marvell School District; Marvell-Elaine, Ark.
    Slide Deck
  • Strategies for Community-Wide Results in Attendance
    Achieving population-level reductions in chronic absence is more successful when school districts work with other partners to align their efforts. By setting common goals, sharing data and consistently sending the same messages, the communities in this session forged exemplary partnerships resulting in reduced chronic absence at a population level.
    Cecelia Leong, Attendance Works, moderator
    Kate Bennett, United Way of Central Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa
    Jackie Campbell, The Children’s Agenda; Rochester, N.Y.
    Terri Clark, Read On Arizona; Arizona
    Jerome Underwood, Rochester City School District; Rochester, N.Y.
    Slide deck and Session Documentation
  • Scaling in Districts and States to Achieve Community-Wide Results for Student Attendance Strategies for Community-Wide Results in Attendance
    Moving from building-level progress to district and state reductions in chronic absence often requires institutional or state policy changes, effective data and reporting systems and culture shifts within leadership teams. This session will feature communities that have successfully navigated the challenges of working with school districts and state partners to address chronic absence.
    Hedy Chang, Attendance Works, moderator
    Mike English, Turn the Page KC; Kansas City, Mo.
    Lillian Torres-Martinez, Ed.D., School District of Indian River County; Indian River County, Fla.
    Joe Vaverchak; Consolidated School District of New Britain; New Britain, Conn.
    Slide deck


  • How to Make and Measure Summer Learning Progress: Sustaining and Expanding Opportunities
    This session will feature stories of impact from communities that have made progress on expanding summer learning opportunities that are making a difference. Beyond the strategies that were used and lessons learned, the focus of the conversation will be on the question that GLR communities often puzzle over — how to effectively measure summer learning gains and how to use that data to effectively communicate and continue to get buy-in from key stakeholders, such as funders, school districts and parents.
    Leslie Gabay-Swanston, National Summer Learning Association, moderator
    Dr. Rita Bishop, Roanoke City Public Schools; Roanoke, Va.
    Rachel Goodspeed, Vectren; Montgomery County-Dayton, Ohio
    Ritika Kurup, Learn to Earn Dayton; Montgomery County-Dayton, Ohio
    Tracey Madden-Hennessey, YWCA New Britain; New Britain, Conn.
    Robin Lamott Sparks, Coalition for New Britain’s Youth; New Britain, Conn.
    Sheila Umberger, Roanoke Public Library; Roanoke, Va.
    Handouts: 10 Qualities of a Summer Learning Program and Out of School Time Data
  • Achieving Community-Wide Summer Learning Gains: Robust and Ambitious Partnerships
    We all want to do more in the summer months to accelerate progress — come learn what is possible when healthy partnerships are forged with districts, libraries and other key systems or programs to extend reach and progress to address summer learning loss. Communities in this session will share practical and inspiring examples of how they have re-imagined partnerships, both traditional and otherwise, to expand opportunities and results for children in the summer months.
    Jeff Smink, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, moderator
    Jordan Frazier, Turn the Page KC; Kansas City, Mo.
    David McAuley, Boston After School & Beyond; Boston, Mass.
    Kathleen Rapp, Iowa West Foundation; Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Session Documentation
  • Extending the Reach of Literacy Training and Support: Support Adults and Programs Caring for Children
    There are GLR communities that are finding ways to dramatically expand the reach of summer learning opportunities by equipping adults or non-traditional partners and programs with training and resources to effectively implement early literacy and language development strategies at home or in the community. This session will feature several particularly innovative examples to learn from, including homegrown or best practice national models for training and support.
    Elizabeth Babbin, Understood.org; moderator
    Julee Albers, Dubuque Community Foundation; Dubuque, Iowa
    Jenny Bogoni, Free Library of Philadelphia; Philadelphia, Pa.
    Laura Abbey Brown, Excellence in Education Foundation; Tahoe Truckee, Calif.
    Session Documentation


  • Helping Parents Succeed on Summer Learning
    Parents have a huge stake, as well as a key role, in preventing “summer slide.” Local GLR campaigns that are showing major progress in summer learning have incorporated a robust set of strategies for engaging and supporting parents as key players and partners. This session focuses on effective strategies that exemplary GLR campaigns are using to help parents understand how they can keep their children healthy and engaged in learning during the summer months.
    Yolie Flores, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, moderator
    Ja’Nel Jamerson, Flint & Genesee Literacy Network; Flint and Genesee County, Mich.
    Emily Peterson, Oregon Social Learning Center; Lane County, Ore.
    Jennie Merrigan, Scholars Unlimited; Denver, Co.
    Slide Deck
  • It’s Helping Parents Succeed on School Readiness
    As their child’s first teacher, parents set the stage for success in the early years and early grades. This session will explore a variety of exemplary approaches used by local GLR campaigns to help parents ensure that their child is prepared for success in school.
    Joshua Cramer, National Center for Families Learning, moderator
    Donna Cielma, Southwest Solutions; Detroit, Mich.
    Kimberly Manns, Commit 2 Dallas; Dallas, Texas
    Jeff Miles, United Way for Southeastern Michigan; Detroit, Mich.
    Elena Rivera, Children’s Institute; Portland, Ore.
    Session Documentation
  • Engaging Parents as Partners to Address Chronic Absence
    Supporting parent success in the area of school attendance can take many forms: education on the importance of daily attendance, providing morning prep checklists or simply incentivizing attendance. These communities, representing a range of population sizes, will discuss strategies they’ve tried and those that have resulted in positive outcomes.
    Lisa Finaldi, North Carolina Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, moderator
    Lemuria Alawode-El, United Way of New York City; New York, N.Y.
    Dr. Diana Gonzales Worthen, OneCommunity Reads, UnaComunidad Leyendo! Springdale, Ark.
    Janet Meeks, City of Delray Beach; Delray Beach, Fla.
    Session Documentation


  • Building Support Systems for Post-Screening Intervention
    GLR communities are increasingly focused on targeted efforts to screen young children for developmental delays. One of the significant challenges faced by many communities is the effectiveness of follow-up systems and supports for families. This session will highlight the lessons learned in building effective systems for developmental screening, follow-up and intervention. Exemplary models that include health, early care and education providers and statewide capacity-building efforts will be featured.
    Carolyn Lyons, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, moderator
    Eileen Auer-Bennett, Assuring Better Child Health & Development; Colorado
    Suzanne Mineck, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation; Iowa
    Amy Shriver, Blank Children’s Hospital; Iowa
    Maria Weer, Building Healthy Families; Wallowa County, Ore.
    Slide Deck and Session Documentation
  • Addressing Health-Related Barriers to Attendance
    Communities that have developed partnerships with local health providers to address the health-related barriers to attendance have been able to improve the overall health and well-being of their student population and reduce chronic absence. This session will highlight examples of how school district and health provider partnerships have integrated oral health, asthma management and other school-based and school-linked health services to reduce chronic absence rates.
    Cynthia O’Connor, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, moderator
    Lori Canning; The School Board of Broward County; Broward, Fla.
    Frank Carey, Hancock County Schools; Hancock County, W.Va.
    Patrick Lowe, Leadership Worcester; Worcester, Mass.
    Dan Wright, Stockton Unified School District; Stockton-San Joaquin, Calif.
    Session Documentation
  • Noteworthy Models to Promote Summer Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity
    Summer months are especially challenging when food insecurity and lack of physical activity have considerable impact on the well-being of vulnerable children. This session will feature communities that have partnered with universities, libraries, funders and school districts to combine literacy efforts with nutrition and physical activity over the summer.
    Ken Anthony, Connecticut Afterschool Network, moderator
    Suzanne Harbin, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Whitfield, Ga.
    Amber Lowery, Roanoke Public Libraries; Roanoke, Va.
    Session Documentation


  • The Intersection of Housing and School Readiness
    Local GLR campaigns are increasingly reaching out to housing authorities to join the GLR coalition because of their unique access to vulnerable populations. Housing authorities can play a significant role, in collaboration with other public agencies and nonprofits, in efforts to increase readiness for success in school. This session features a set of communities that are implementing especially powerful partnership arrangements with housing authorities to leverage their effectiveness and drive results.
    Preston Prince, Fresno Housing Authority; Fresno, Calif., moderator
    James A. Cloar, Tampa Housing Authority; Tampa, Fla.
    Jillian Fisher, United Way of Greater Topeka; Shawnee County, Kan.
    Sally Fuller, The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation; Springfield, Mass.
    Trey George, Topeka Housing Authority; Shawnee County, Kan.
    Slide Deck and Session Documentation
  • Prioritizing and Achieving Results for Vulnerable Populations Over the Summer Months
    Housing authorities are eager to partner with community organizations and other agencies to ensure that resident children have access to a variety of enriching programs and activities during the summer. This session explores exemplary models of program partnerships to keep children learning and healthy during the time of year when services, supports and opportunities for vulnerable populations of children are typically diminished.
    Sunny Shaw, Housing Authority of the City of Pocatello, Idaho, moderator
    Francisco Blanco, City of Phoenix Housing Department; Phoenix, Ariz.
    Teree Caldwell-Johnson, Oakridge Neighborhood; Des Moines, Iowa
    Mark Thiele, Houston Housing Authority; Houston, Texas
    Slide Deck and Session Documentation
  • Bringing Attendance Home
    A growing number of local GLR campaigns are effectively engaging their housing authorities to reach especially vulnerable populations of children. The communities featured in this session have been particularly successful in improving school attendance through partnering with their local housing agencies. These communities will discuss the formation of their engagement with these agencies, as well as the key elements of their partnership that have begun to move the needle on reducing chronic absence.
    Jeff Smink, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, moderator
    Lewis Jordan, Housing Authority of the County of Marin, Calif., moderator
    Christine Arouth, Newport Family Child Opportunity Zone; Newport, R.I.
    William Russell, Sarasota Housing Authority; Suncoast, Fla.
    Session Documentation


  • Leveraging Technology to Support Parent and Early School Success: Scale and Impact
    Parents and professionals concerned about the early school success of their children have a growing array of technology products and platforms to consider using to help but we know there is both great potential and peril in whether and how technology can be used to leverage parent success, and early school success. These communities are strategically incorporating technology into their “ground game” and “air game” pursuit to foster the kind of awareness, behaviors and ultimately the critical interaction that matters most between parents/caregivers and their children.
    Lisa Kane, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, moderator
    Angela Duran, Arkansas Grade-Level Reading Campaign; Arkansas
    Jill O’Meara, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning; Colquitt County, Ga.
    Janet Sheldon, Family Connection of Colquitt County in Georgia; Colquitt County, Ga.
    Cindy Minton Walker, United Way of South Mississippi; Gulfport, Miss.
    Documentation will be posted. 
  • Accelerating Summer Reading Participation through Technology Tools and Platforms
    Giving families and community partners access to high-quality, vocabulary-rich books — surrounded by a strategy to build excitement and capacity of parents and partners to encourage a focus on reading and related early literacy habits — is a critical component of some of the most successful efforts to address summer learning loss. Communities featured in this session are doing just that, using technology tools and resources that give them the opportunity to vastly expand access to opportunity and support, and the capacity to gather data to track progress over time.
    Tonja Rucker, National League of Cities, moderator
    Leslie Gabay-Swanston, National Summer Learning Association
    Dawn Gerundo, Valley of the Sun United Way; Avondale, Ariz.
    Eileana Gudiño, Valley of the Sun United Way; Avondale, Ariz.
    Kierstan Schwab, Texas PBS
    Session Documentation


  • Building and Sustaining Large-Scale Mobilization Efforts
    Successful change efforts are characterized by their ability to build and maintain an active coalition with connected leadership. These communities from a range of population sizes will discuss how their coalitions were built, how they operate effectively and lessons learned.
    Swati Adarkar, Children’s Institute; Portland, Ore., moderator
    Munro Richardson, Read Charlotte; Charlotte, N.C.
    Nancy Van Milligen, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque; Dubuque, Iowa
    Eric Wilson, Graduate Tacoma; Tacoma, Wash.
    Handouts: The Annie E. Casey Foundation Results Based Leadership Aligned Action Commitments and Graduate! Tacoma Partner Alignment Self-Assessment Tool
  • Public Sector Partners: Schools and Libraries
    Schools and libraries share a joint goal of creating lifelong learners. Across the GLR Network, libraries have emerged as key leaders and partners in their community’s GLR coalition. Participants in this roundtable will discuss how grade-level reading coalitions fit into their library’s mission and daily operation, as well as their perspective on libraries as leaders.
    Emily Samose, Urban Libraries Council, moderator
    Jerri Heid, Ames Public Library; Ames, Iowa
    Corinne Jackamore, Denver Public Library; Denver, Colo.
    Angelique Jessup, Baltimore Campaign for Grade-Level Reading; Baltimore, Md.
    Sheila Umberger, Roanoke Public Libraries; Roanoke, Va.
    Session Documentation
  • Partnering with School Districts
    Community-based organizations (CBOs) frequently report that one of the most challenging local partners to engage in grade-level reading campaigns is, ironically, their local school district. Successful GLR campaigns, however, rely on extensive data-sharing relationships among nonprofits, public agencies, and schools and districts (and sometimes with several districts), as well as other types of strategic and programmatic collaboration. This session will explore the benefits and challenges to effective collaboration with school districts and will provide guidance to CBOs regarding forging strong partnerships with local districts to support GLR success.
    Keanne Henry, AARP, moderator
    Diana Greene, School District of Manatee County; Suncoast, Fla.
    Tricia Putnam, Consolidated School District of New Britain; New Britain, Conn.
    Nancy Schulze, Raise Me to Read; Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Documentation will be posted. 


  • Combining School Readiness Programs, Strategies and Practices
    Not only is it true that, “It takes a village to raise a child,” it also takes a skilled alignment and integration of a variety of research-based strategies, programs and practices to support a child’s readiness to succeed in school. This session will feature the work of a set of communities that are recognized for their exemplary integrative approach to improving school readiness.
    Sherri Killins Stewart Ed.D., Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, moderator
    Mikel Brightman, Dept. of Human Services, City of San Antonio; San Antonio, Texas
    Erin Brown, Office of Children’s Affairs, City and County of Denver; Denver, Colo.
    Katherine King, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County; San Antonio, Texas
    Marie O’Brien, The Learning Alliance; Indian River County, Fla.
    Avilene Rodriguez, Office of Children’s Affairs, City and County of Denver; Denver, Colo.
    Session Documentation (File will download.)
  • Driving with Data
    Local GLR campaigns rely on access to, and expertise with, a variety of data on children, families, systems and communities to identify needs and gaps, guide decisions on strategy, improve programs and promote accountability for results. This session will feature communities that are doing exemplary work in developing data systems based on strong local partnerships to support the success of their GLR efforts.
    Heloisa Vila, Clear Impact, moderator
    Dr. Rita Bishop, Roanoke City Public Schools; Roanoke, Va.
    Marissa Mazek Blankinship, Roanoke Public Libraries; Roanoke, Va.
    Alex Kolker, United Way of the Quad Cities Area; Quad Cities, Ill. and Iowa
    Documentation will be posted.