3rd Grade Reading Success Matters

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

Gulfport, Mississippi Finalist Summary

Download the Gulfport, Mississippi finalist summary.

Gulfport, Mississippi

The GLR Campaign and National Civic League recognize Gulfport, Mississippi, as a 2017 finalist for the All-America City Awards. Gulfport is cited for reporting measurable progress in school readiness 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 group of 20 business leaders from the Gulf Coast Business Council joined with the mayor of Gulfport to focus on early education and preparing children for academic success. The result was the formation of the Coast Coalition, which led to the creation of privately funded, free preschools for 4-year-olds living in the Coastal Counties. Staff from businesses, nonprofit agencies, hospitals, accounting firms, attorneys, the library, the Secretary of State’s office and the Coast Chamber, as well as school district superintendents, have continued to work together under the One Coast Coalition to address other school readiness needs in the community. Working with others in the state, the coalition played a significant role in helping to pass legislation that established state funding for preschools for the first time. Additionally, while the state of Mississippi does not routinely disaggregate test data into free/reduced-price lunch subgroups specifically, the coalition made a special request to have data disaggregated for two districts in Gulfport. The coalition partnered with the Bezos Family Foundation to bring the Vroom application to parents, while also collaborating with researchers to monitor and evaluate the use of Vroom by parents. As a result of the work of the GLR coalition, school readiness among children entering kindergarten increased from 32 percent ready in the fall of 2014 to 66.3 percent ready in 2016. Additionally, in 2015, 91 percent of low-income third-grade students in the city of Gulfport met standard on the Mississippi Reading Assessment, while 92 percent met standard in 2016.

See another community