3rd Grade Reading Success Matters

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

Des Moines, IA

Download the Des Moines, IA Pacesetter Profile

Des Moines, IA

The Des Moines, IA, Grade-Level Reading Campaign is recognized as a 2014 Pacesetter for making measurable progress on child health and summer learning outcomes.

Des Moines is piloting a universal developmental screening project that is expanding the use of developmental screenings and creating a centralized data system. This system has resulted in an increase in the number of clinics that are providing the screening from seven in 2012 to 38 in 2014.  There was also an increase in the number of children/families receiving care coordination as a result of a flagged developmental screening, from fewer than 40 to more than 750 over the same two-year period.  This will reduce the number of children who show up for school with undetected, undiagnosed, and untreated delays and conditions that affect their performance.

In summer learning, 86% of Des Moines summer school students maintained or increased their reading level.  This success was attributed to innovative summer programming delivered in a variety of settings including elementary schools, parks and neighborhood based community centers.  In addition to literacy content, students in our programs had access to multiple enrichment opportunities including STEM, the arts and frequent physical activity.  This integrated approach to serving children and families provided healthy snacks and take-home backpacks, nutrition education, and financial literacy and coaching.

The Des Moines GLR Campaign reaches approximately 23,500 low-income children in the area.  The Campaign regularly tracks the following as key measures of its overall impact on student readiness outcomes:  percent of children from low-income families in accredited child-care settings, including publicly funded programs, Head Start and home-based providers.  Reflecting on the community’s progress since it joined the Campaign in 2012, local GLR Lead, Kate Bennett, commented, “The Campaign for Grade Level Reading has compelled our community to focus on third grade reading quickly and thoughtfully. Utilizing the campaign’s framework has allowed us to streamline our investments, programs and metrics.  We look forward to continued progress as we tackle this critical community issue with the on-going support of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. “

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading proudly recognizes the shared ownership for the progress in Des Moines among the following members of the local sponsoring coalition:

  • United Way of Central Iowa
  • Des Moines Public School District
  • Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa
  • City of Des Moines
  • YMCA of Greater Des Moines
  • State Public Policy Group
  • Child and Family Policy Center
  • Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
  • Early Childhood Iowa