3rd Grade Reading Success Matters

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

Roanoke, Virginia Finalist Summary

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Roanoke, Virginia

The GLR Campaign and National Civic League recognize Roanoke, Virginia, as a 2017 finalist for the All-America City Awards. A six-time All-America City Awardee, Roanoke is cited for reporting measurable progress in school readiness, school attendance, 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. Star City Reads, Roanoke’s locally branded campaign effort, encourages data sharing, data analysis, best practices and targeted strategies. The coalition currently consists of 25 partners, including libraries, schools, health programs, arts organizations and the police department. With the help of coalition partners at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Star City Reads reviews and disaggregates system-wide data for a variety of subgroups (e.g., family income and child special needs, such as being an English language learner or having an IEP). As the community lead within the local coalition, the Roanoke Public Libraries (RPL) have partnered with the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) better to meet the needs of children living in public housing. As a result of its work, Roanoke has seen the following outcomes: In the fall of 2012, 78.8 percent of Title I kindergartners met or exceeded school readiness criteria, compared with 80.4 percent in the fall of 2016. For the 2012–13 school year, 13.6 percent of first graders in Title I schools were chronically absent, compared with 11.9 percent in the 2015–16 school year. Roanoke launched a new summer learning program in all 14 of its Title I schools in 2013. Since that time, the percentage of first graders who maintained or improved their performance over the summer months increased from 81.6 percent to 85.9 percent. In the same timeframe, the overall percentage of third graders reading proficiently in all 14 Title I elementary schools increased from 60.5 percent to 70.6 percent.

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