King of Prussia, PA (PRWEB) June 21, 2012
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has honored Camden, New Jersey, as one of 25 Community Solutions PaceSetters for its work addressing the challenges that keep low-income children from mastering reading by the end of third grade. The city has also been named a finalist for the All-America City Award, a National Civic League award program tied this year to the reading campaign. According to Kathryn Blackshear of the Camden City Public Schools Board of Education, “By engaging students, parents, and the community as partners we are implementing aggressive, coordinated, and data-driven efforts to propel student reading achievement.”
“During the last two years, teachers and principals in Camden have undergone unprecedented levels of professional development training to utilize data both to inform instruction and to hold stakeholders accountable,” explained Camden City Public Schools Assistant Superintendent, Andrea Gonzalez-Kirwin. By joining forces with federal, state, and local governments, community organizations, parent groups, and private business, the Planning Consortium is working collaboratively and effectively to increase the number of children reading at grade level.
“It is with great pride and admiration that I congratulate Camden City Public Schools and the Board of Education for their leadership in implementing transformative systems to accelerate sustained reading achievement,” said Jane Hileman, Founder and CEO of American Reading Company, the district’s lead literacy partner. “I also congratulate Camden City Mayor Dana L. Redd and our fellow consortium partners for their tireless efforts to solve the many challenges facing children in Camden.”
The Camden Planning Consortium is led by Mayor Redd and includes Camden City Public Schools, Center for Family Services/Camden Cooper Lanning Promise Neighborhood, The Cooper Foundation of Cooper University Hospital, and American Reading Company. The group was formed to aggressively target early literacy as an urgent priority, recognizing that children who don’t learn to read well by the end of third grade are more likely to struggle academically and less likely to finish high school. The Consortium is focused on three key areas: 1) school readiness by preparing young children to begin school ready to learn, 2) school attendance by ensuring that children in grades K-3 regularly attend school, and 3) summer learning to address summer learning loss with engaging programs.
Mayor Redd stated, “I am committed to speaking to constituencies throughout the City about the importance of early literacy and to continuing to use the available resources of my office to promote efforts already under way and those developed in the planning process.”
The 25 PaceSetters will be honored at a conference June 30-July 2 in Denver that will launch a national network committed to grade-level reading. In addition, 10 to 15 communities will be chose from the 32 finalists to receive the All-America City Award at the end of the conference on July 2.
About The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, states and communities across the nation to close the gap in reading achievement that separates many low-income students from their peers; raise the bar for reading proficiency so that all students are assessed by world-class standards; and ensure that all children, including and especially children from low-income families, have an equitable opportunity to meet those higher standards. For more information, visit http://www.gradelevelreading.net
About American Reading Company
American Reading Company transforms school cultures to create sustainable academic achievement through training, management, and monitoring. The company was founded in 1998 and is now based in King of Prussia, PA. Today, more than a million students in over 2,100 schools across 420 districts in 41 states participate in the company’s programs. For more information, please visit http://www.americanreading.com.