3rd Grade Reading Success Matters

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

New Britain, CT

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New Britain, CT

The New Britain, CT, Grade-Level Reading Campaign is recognized as a 2014 Pacesetter for making measureable progress on student attendance outcomes. In New Britain, the number of students chronically absent improved significantly from the 2012-13 school year to the 2013-14 school year.  Improvements ranged from 5% in preschool and kindergarten to as high as 36% in second grade, with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades all seeing double-digit percentage improvements in chronic absenteeism across the district.

New Britain’s methodical approach to reducing chronic absence – led by the Consolidated School District of New Britain – includes sending a report every 10 days to each school listing each student who is chronically absent.  The school’s attendance team – teachers, administrators, social workers, guidance counselors and the school nurse – then devises an action plan for each student listed. They might talk to the student, the student’s teacher and parents or send an outreach worker to the student’s home.

New Britain is applying this successful model for school-aged children attendance to addressing a contributing issue – high chronic absence in early childhood programs. With help from Attendance Works, it is automating its pre-K attendance system and creating data teams – a practice more commonly used with older students.  Videos feature local parents explaining the importance of sending children to pre-K daily.Pre-K teachers keep an eye out for children who are absent frequently and contact their parents. A new part-time preschool outreach worker is there to support families as well.

The New Britain GLR Campaign reaches approximately 5,000 low-income children in school district of roughly 10,000 students.  Reflecting on the community’s progress since it joined the Campaign in 2012, local GLR Chair, Kimberley Russo, commented, “Given the many challenges faced by New Britain children and families, we are very pleased at the progress we’ve made on a number of issues, especially on improving school attendance.  Our many community partners look forward to continuing the hard work necessary to help every New Britain child succeed in school and life.”

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

  • Consolidated School District of New Britain
  • Coalition for New Britain’s Youth
  • Family Resource Centers
  • New Britain Public Library
  • Central CT Family Literacy Center
  • Literacy Volunteers of Central CT
  • City of New Britain:  Mayor’s Office, Health Department, Parks and Recreation
  • YWCA New Britain
  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Head Start / Human Resource Agency
  • Hospital of Central Connecticut
  • Local out of school time providers
  • Local early childhood providers
  • Community Health Center
  • United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut
  • Community Foundation of Greater New Britain
  • American Savings Foundation
  • Farmington Bank Community Foundation
  • Community Chest of New Britain and Berlin
  • William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund