The GLR Campaign recognizes Ames, Iowa, as a 2016 Pacesetter for reporting population-level, measurable progress in school readiness and school attendance for children from low-income families, and for creating an exemplary funding coalition to invest in the local campaign’s work.
Since 2006, the Reach Out and Read program has served families throughout the county, and several other programs, including Super K Transition to Kindergarten, StoryPals, Raising A Reader, Small Talk Story County and Tot Time have focused on low-income children. From 2014 to 2016, low-income kindergartners across the Ames Community School District’s (ASCD) five elementary schools showed a 19% improvement in meeting the benchmark for school readiness and literacy. More young low-income children also attended school more regularly, as a result of ASCD’s use of an Early Indicator System to track children at risk of dropping out and developing attendance plans to help them be present at school. Between the 2012–13 and 2015–16 school years, the rate of chronic absence among low-income PreK-3 students declined from 10.24% to 8.73%, a nearly 15% improvement.
The GLR Campaign also acknowledges Story County Reads’ accomplishment in forming an innovative partnership among local funders, including five major public and nonprofit funding entities that are committed to all children reading by the end of third grade.