The GLR Campaign recognizes Springfield, Massachusetts, as a 2016 Pacesetter for reporting measurable progress in school attendance, summer learning and overall grade-level reading for children from low-income families.
The percentage of K–3 students who were chronically absent declined from 18.2% in 2012–13 to 14.6% in 2015–16. The percentage of rising third graders participating in a summer learning program who maintained or improved their reading level during the summer increased from 76.7% to 83.4% between 2012 and 2016. In addition, Springfield also saw an 11% increase in third graders scoring proficient in reading from 2014–15 to 2015–16. The GLR Campaign also acknowledges Springfield’s impressive work to prioritize children and families in public housing. Its program with the Springfield Housing Authority, Talk/Read/Succeed! targets families with children from birth through age 9. The program is designed to support parents as their children’s first teachers and develop children’s early literacy skills. As the backbone of Talk/Read/Succeed!, professional outreach workers focus on both reaching families where they are and leveraging their assets and parenting skills — all with supports and strategies identified as critical to their parenting skills.
Additional support ranges from increased provision of early childhood education to mental health services to summer learning programs and workforce training.