The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Improving third-grade reading outcomes

School Readiness

Ensuring more children arrive at kindergarten prepared to learn

School Attendance

Ensuring children in preschool and K-3 miss fewer days of school

Summer Learning

Ensuring children do not lose ground during the summer months

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Research shows that reading proficiency at the end of third grade is the most important predictor of school success and high school graduation. This is because reading proficiency enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn as they encounter more complex curriculum in fourth grade and beyond. Students who are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely not to graduate from high school than proficient readers. Yet in Oregon 28 percent of third graders fail to meet this benchmark. Among low-income students, 37 percent miss this critical milestone.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a national collaborative effort driven by this research. Foundations, nonprofits, business leaders, government agencies and communities across the nation are participating to ensure more children in low-income families are reading proficiently by the end of third grade, greatly increasing their chances of success in school and life.

The Campaign is based on the belief that community partnerships are key to tackling the problem. It provides technical assistance to engaged communities of diverse partners that are taking up third-grade reading as an outcome. These communities are mobilizing to remove barriers, expand opportunities, and assist parents to serve as partners in their children’s success.

Campaign for Grade-Level Reading communities are improving third-grade reading outcomes by working in three focus areas:

School readiness: ensuring more children arrive at kindergarten prepared to learn
School attendance: ensuring children in preschool and K-3 miss fewer days of school
Summer learning: ensuring children do not lose ground during the summer months

Along the way, communities are engaging parents and families because research shows students are most successful when their parents and involved and engaged in their learning. Parents are a child’s first teachers, and this role begins at birth. Healthy physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development in the earliest years greatly impacts children’s ability to learn and become proficient readers.

Earl Boyles Elementary School

One of the Children’s Institute’s Early Works sites, Earl Boyles Elementary is a high-needs school in Portland’s David Douglas School District. Earl Boyles is a culturally and linguistically diverse community facing significant poverty. The community is making progress by working to connect early learning with the early grades at the school. This has included implementing three preschool classrooms for 3- and 4-year-olds, a robust data-driven summer literacy program, building a new wing that will house resources for parents and families, and establishing strategies to tackle chronic absence.

Earl Boyles Elementary School

One of the Children’s Institute’s Early Works sites, Earl Boyles Elementary is a high-needs school in Portland’s David Douglas School District. Earl Boyles is a culturally and linguistically diverse community facing significant poverty. The community is making progress by working to connect early learning with the early grades at the school. This has included implementing three preschool classrooms for 3- and 4-year-olds, a robust data-driven summer literacy program, building a new wing that will house resources for parents and families, and establishing strategies to tackle chronic absence.

Lane County

Led by the United Way of Lane County, this community has an unusual collaboration with three local research institutions (Oregon Social Learning Center, Oregon Research Institute, University of Oregon), allowing them to do extensive work planning for system reform around health, mental health, social services and early learning. Their Campaign for Grade Level Reading work is embedded in this broader effort. They have a team focused on family engagement and a very successful school readiness program called KITS (Kids in Transition to School). The program includes a 16-week series of summer playgroups for future kindergartners focused on literacy and school readiness. Lane County also has an active summer literacy campaign that includes volunteer-led reading in local parks and distributing literacy kits and books.

Lane County

Led by the United Way of Lane County, this community has an unusual collaboration with three local research institutions (Oregon Social Learning Center, Oregon Research Institute, University of Oregon), allowing them to do extensive work planning for system reform around health, mental health, social services and early learning. Their Campaign for Grade Level Reading work is embedded in this broader effort. They have a team focused on family engagement and a very successful school readiness program called KITS (Kids in Transition to School). The program includes a 16-week series of summer playgroups for future kindergartners focused on literacy and school readiness. Lane County also has an active summer literacy campaign that includes volunteer-led reading in local parks and distributing literacy kits and books.

Wallowa County

The effort in this small, rural community is led by Building Healthy Families, a central point in the region for early childhood resources and services. The community faces many challenges including poverty and lack of funding for programs like preschool and child care. The community is making progress through their collaboration with the Winding Waters Clinic, where a lending library has been established and where Reach Out and Read distributes well baby bags after visits. They are also collaborating with the local public library on outreach and engagement with families around early literacy. They also work with the library to develop summer camps and programs.

Wallowa County

The effort in this small, rural community is led by Building Healthy Families, a central point in the region for early childhood resources and services. The community faces many challenges including poverty and lack of funding for programs like preschool and child care. The community is making progress through their collaboration with the Winding Waters Clinic, where a lending library has been established and where Reach Out and Read distributes well baby bags after visits. They are also collaborating with the local public library on outreach and engagement with families around early literacy. They also work with the library to develop summer camps and programs.

West Medford

Located in Southern Oregon in a high-poverty and high-mobility area, Oregon’s newest GLR community is led by the West Medford Early Learning Collaborative, a committed group of educators and community partners whose aim is to ensure that every child in Jackson County is ready and prepared for kindergarten. The community faces many challenges, including generational poverty, a transient population, and a lack of a bi-lingual/bi-cultural workforce. Although these challenges are significant, the community’s location in a small metro area has allowed collaborations and partnerships to flourish. As a result, West Medford has been able to connect families to free books, fresh food, playgroups, summer preschool programs, family success teams, and a DHS self-sufficiency worker. The community is incorporating the Ready! For Kindergarten curriculum at its school sites.

West Medford

Located in Southern Oregon in a high-poverty and high-mobility area, Oregon’s newest GLR community is led by the West Medford Early Learning Collaborative, a committed group of educators and community partners whose aim is to ensure that every child in Jackson County is ready and prepared for kindergarten. The community faces many challenges, including generational poverty, a transient population, and a lack of a bi-lingual/bi-cultural workforce. Although these challenges are significant, the community’s location in a small metro area has allowed collaborations and partnerships to flourish. As a result, West Medford has been able to connect families to free books, fresh food, playgroups, summer preschool programs, family success teams, and a DHS self-sufficiency worker. The community is incorporating the Ready! For Kindergarten curriculum at its school sites.

Yoncalla School District

Also a Children’s Institute Early Works site, the Yoncalla community faces many challenges, including declining population and opportunities, rural poverty and very limited resources. To date, successful efforts have been made to develop relationships with parents and community members. New trust has been built between school and service providers and families that will allow for new interventions in the future. The school has also created a family room, a place in the school for families and children birth to age five can come together.

Yoncalla School District

Also a Children’s Institute Early Works site, the Yoncalla community faces many challenges, including declining population and opportunities, rural poverty and very limited resources. To date, successful efforts have been made to develop relationships with parents and community members. New trust has been built between school and service providers and families that will allow for new interventions in the future. The school has also created a family room, a place in the school for families and children birth to age five can come together.

Resources

Oregon’s Third Grade Reading Data
Download this fact sheet to see data on Oregon’s third grade reading progress, kindergarten readiness, and chronic absence.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Want to learn more about the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading around the country? Visit them online to find out about communities across the country doing this important work. You’ll also find the latest news and resources straight from the Campaign and information about how to join the network.

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