3rd Grade Reading Success Matters

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

Dallas, Texas Finalist Summary

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Dallas, Texas

The GLR Campaign and National Civic League recognize Dallas, Texas, as a 2017 finalist for the All-America City Awards. A previous winner of an All-America City Award, Dallas is currently cited for reporting measurable progress in summer learning and overall grade-level reading for children from low-income families, as well as for exemplary efforts in promoting civic engagement and inclusiveness. In 2012, a broad and diverse coalition of stakeholders came together to collectively work to benefit students throughout Dallas County, from cradle to career. The Commit! Partnership was formed to act as a backbone organization supporting over 190 organizations, which include public school districts, charter school networks, private schools, higher education institutions, foundations, businesses, nonprofits and faith-based and community organizations. The partnership convenes, facilitates and provides resources to partners to achieve better student outcomes across 11 critical community achievement indicators, which were all developed and agreed on by the partners. The coalition also works at a systems level to directly recruit volunteers and strengthen messaging. For instance, it influenced Dallas Morning News, the largest regional newspaper, to adopt early childhood as a priority area that receives consistent coverage and reporting. As a result of its work, the community has seen measurable outcomes for children from low-income families. There was a significant increase in the number of low-income K–3 students who stayed on grade level or improved over the summer 2016 (271 students) compared with the previous summer 2015 (73 students). In overall grade-level reading, 42 percent of K–2 students were reading on grade level in the spring of 2015, compared with only 30 percent in the spring of 2014.

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