3rd Grade Reading Success Matters

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

Syracuse, New York Finalist Summary

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Syracuse, New York

The GLR Campaign and National Civic League recognize Syracuse, New York, as a 2017 finalist for the All-America City Awards. Syracuse 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. Following an extensive community engagement planning process in 2008, a Literacy Coalition was formed. The GLR effort in Syracuse and Greater Onondaga County is led by an over 200-member coalition composed of representatives of large community institutions, foundations, school districts (especially the Syracuse City School District), local governments and businesses, coupled with the emergence of an Early Childhood Alliance and Greater Syracuse HOPE. Outreach to immigrant and refugee populations has been strengthened through collaborations with InterFaith Works and Catholic Charities (refugee resettlement agencies); the Hispanic population through the Spanish Action League, MANOS, and La Casita Library; as well as ACTS, which is a grassroots interfaith network. Syracuse is also implementing Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, a key element of its local GLR campaign that has expanded countywide. The Syracuse Housing Authority implemented a door-to-door campaign to sign up children living in public housing for the Imagination Library’s free book program. As a result of its efforts, in 2014–15, 44.9 percent of low-income kindergartners scored ready for school, compared with a baseline of 43 percent scoring ready in 2013–14. Chronic absence was reduced among K–3 students living in extreme poverty census tracts from 43.7 percent in 2013–14 to 40.8 percent in 2015–16. In 2014, 46.5 percent K–3 students living in extreme poverty census tracts experienced summer learning loss, compared with 43.4 percent in the summer of 2015. In 2012–13, 7.5 percent of low-income third graders living in extreme poverty were reading at or above grade level, compared with 11.5 percent in 2015-16

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