3rd Grade Reading Success Matters

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

2017 All-America City Award

Moving the needle on grade-level reading is a nationwide effort that requires communities to unite, innovate, and focus on results. Has your community taken up this challenge and made progress? We want to celebrate your success and inspire your journey ahead. Download a two-pager with all of this information and file your letter of intent.

2017 All-America City Grade-Level Reading Award 

The National Civic League (NCL) and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading invite you to apply for America’s oldest and most prestigious community recognition, the All-America City Award. Each year, the All-America City Award is given to communities that exemplify outstanding civic accomplishments. In 2017, NCL and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading will recognize communities that have made measurable progress for low-income children on the key drivers of early reading success. Award winners in 2017 will be communities that:

  • School Readiness – More children from low-income families ready for school and developmentally on track, or fewer children entering kindergarten with undetected, undiagnosed and untreated conditions or delays that can impede learning.
  • School Attendance – More children from low-income families attending school regularly or fewer children chronically absent because of manageable health challenges such as asthma and preventable ones such as tooth decay.
  • Summer Learning – More children from low-income families maintaining or increasing their reading levels over the summer.
  • Grade-Level Reading – More children from low-income families reading at or above grade level at the end of first, second, and third grade.

  • Civic Engagement and Collaboration — comprehensive citizen/resident engagement in decision making and action planning, cross-sector collaboration (business, local government, nonprofits, military, etc.) and regional collaboration.
  • Inclusiveness and Diversity — recognition and involvement of diverse segments and perspectives (ethnic, racial, socioeconomic, age, sexual orientation, gender expression, people with disabilities and others) in community decision making.

Bonus points will be awarded for communities that have a plan for sustainability and for aligning, linking, stacking and bundling the most proven and promising programs, practices and strategies.


Key Dates in the Application Process 

If your community intends to apply for an award, please submit a brief letter of intent at by October 1, 2016.

Filing a letter of intent will enable you to participate in a series of monthly webinars beginning this fall offered by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to support communities through the application and self-assessment process.

All-America City Award applications will be due by Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Semi-finalists will be identified using a peer review process involving all applicants. Award-winners will be named at NCL’s Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, on June 14–16, 2017.

The GLR Campaign plans to co-develop the actual All-America City Award application with NCL and all interested communities. A draft application will be available for communities to review by July 29, 2016. We are eager to have your input on the draft application for the 2017 All-America City Award. (Click and a Word doc will download.) Leave comments about the draft application on the GLR Huddle or email them to Susanne Bell at susanne@smarterlearninggroup.com.

We anticipate that the application will offer communities an opportunity to:

  1. Complete a thorough self-assessment describing how your community has made measurable progress against baselines within the past five years on school readiness, school attendance, summer learning and grade-level reading.
  2. Tell your story about how you have addressed the NCL’s process criteria and key barriers to success, scale and sustainability.
  3. Nominate at least 10 peer reviewers from your community who will participate in rating and ranking All-America City Award applications from across the country.

If your community is ready for the challenge, please start preparing now to participate in the 2017 All-America City Awards. Download a two-pager with all of this information and file a letter of intent.

For more information, please contact: 
Ron Fairchild, Director
GLR Support Center
Campaign for Grade-Level Reading