3rd Grade Reading Success Matters

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

Springfield, Massachusetts Finalist Summary

Download the Springfield, Massachusetts finalist summary.

Springfield, Massachusetts

The GLR Campaign and National Civic League recognize Springfield, Massachusetts, as a 2017 finalist for the All-America City Awards. Having previously won an All-America City Award, Springfield is cited for reporting measurable progress in 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. Springfield’s Reading Success by 4th Grade (RS4G) is a collaborative initiative spearheaded by a coalition that includes the Springfield Public Schools, the early childhood education community (including center-based and family child care), the business community, legislators and community organizations such as the Springfield City Library, Springfield Museums, WGBY Public Television, the housing authority and medical and behavioral health providers, as well as the funding community. The coalition has created a Community Data Warehouse, a universal pre-K curriculum with professional development and coaching support for local early childhood organizations (public schools and private providers), and a funder collaborative. To inform outreach to parents, the coalition organized multiple focus groups with parents. These focus groups helped provide insights into the messaging challenges of reaching parents, leading to creation of a text-messaging campaign. As a result, 1,500+ families signed onto the campaign that shares “cool things for families to do together.” As a result of the work of the local GLR effort, the percentage of K–3 students who were chronically absent declined from 18.2 percent in 2012–13 to 14.6 percent 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 percent to 83.4 percent between 2012 and 2016. In addition, Springfield also saw an 11 percent increase in third graders scoring proficient in reading from 2014–15 to 2015–16.

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