The Ames Reads Grade-Level Reading Campaign is recognized as a 2014 Pacesetter for making measurable progress on student attendance outcomes and promoting literacy through Day of Action and Summer Learning Day. The community achieved a 12% reduction in chronic absenteeism for K-5th grades from 2012-13 to 2013-14.
The local Campaign is implementing the following key attendance strategies to drive progress: community-wide attendance awareness campaigns to help parents understand and own the importance of good attendance; school-level messaging, modeling and cultivating the habits of excellent attendance; promoting activities at the beginning the school year to prevent chronic absence; and implementing broader on-going efforts to reduce and prevent chronic absence across schools, districts and community partners. Ames Community School District worked to revise the school attendance policy that was rolled out to students and parents in the fall of 2013. Ames Reads also partnered with the school district on the September School Attendance month campaign.
Ames Reads promoted summer literacy through the Summer Learning Day and Day of Action activities, which engaged families and community members. Children were given the opportunity to create giant bubbles build pinecone bird feeders, read a long a story book path and visit the library’s bookmobile. Over 200 books were collected and given to Raising Readers in Story County to distribute through the gift book program.
Reflecting on the community’s progress since it joined the Campaign in 2012, local GLR Lead, Jean Kresse, commented, “It is amazing to see the community’s focus on literacy and the activities that all lead to 3rd grade reading proficiency. The partnerships developed through Ames Reads are helping to make our GLR campaign a true community focus.”
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading proudly recognizes the shared ownership for the progress in Ames among the following members of the Ames Reads coalition:
- Raising Readers in Story County
- United Way of Story County
- Ames City Council
- Iowa State University
- Youth and Shelter Services
- City of Ames, Office of the Mayor
- Iowa Department of Education
- Ames Community School District
- Ames Public Library
- Community Housing Initiatives
- Lutheran Services in Iowa
- Ames Community Preschool Center