The GLR Campaign recognizes Dubuque, Iowa, as a 2016 Pacesetter for reporting population-level, measurable progress in summer learning and overall grade-level reading for children from low-income families. The community is also recognized for exemplary efforts in using data to identify and serve its most vulnerable children via an expansive cross-sector collaboration.
The school district, Community Foundation and City of Dubuque have sponsored a Summer Academy targeting two groups of first- and second-grade students — those who are not proficient in reading and students from low-income families. Offered at no cost to families, the program provides transportation and wraparound care, as well as breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. Results show that 64.9% of low-income students maintained or improved reading scores in 2016 compared with 56.3% in 2015. Dubuque’s community campaign incorporates robust cross-sector collaboration, with buy-in and engagement of the mayor, city council, media, educators and others in the broader community. Incorporating efforts like My Brother’s Keeper, training in Restorative Justice and using a community equity profile help the local campaign maintain a focus on reading gaps for children of color, boys and ELL students.
At the end of the 2015–16 school year 59% of low-income third graders scored at the proficient level in overall grade-level reading compared with 53% the previous year.