Over 45 representatives from 13 NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading communities gathered in Durham on July 23rd for their bi-annual meeting. People travelled from as far as Pitt and Gaston counties to meet with other community collaboratives committed to advancing third grade-level reading in North Carolina.
Participants had the opportunity to build relationships and share lessons learned in various areas. Adriana Adams from NC’s newest Campaign community in Guilford County shared about their efforts to prioritize family voice in all aspects of their work at Ready for School, Ready for Life. Other communities presented their successes and challenges on topics including Pre-K to Kindergarten transition, leveraging multiple programs, collaborating with school districts, and use of informal learning spaces such as barbershops and laundromats to encourage reading.
Communities also worked together to begin developing a shared vision and messaging strategy for the NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. This included reflecting on the long-term vision of NC’s Campaign and identifying key messengers to help promote their efforts.
The July meeting included a broader representation of community members than in previous years’ meetings. One participant commented, “I didn’t realize how many different reading campaigns there were across the state – awesome!” Campaign communities are leading a variety of innovative initiatives to promote summer learning, school readiness and regular school attendance across the state.
North Carolina’s 14 Campaign for Grade-Level Reading communities include:
• Chatham Reads
• Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
• Gaston County Early Literacy Collaborative
• Growing Moore Readers
• Johnston County Campaign (In progress)
• Orange County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
• Read Charlotte
• Read ENC: Community Literacy Coalition
• Ready for School, Ready for Life
• Ready, Set, Read ROWAN!
• Richmond County Early Literacy Communities (In progress)
• READ Wayne
• Twin Counties Read to Rise
• WAKE Up and Read!
Since 2015, the NC Early Childhood Foundation has led the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in North Carolina. The national Campaign is mobilizing communities to ensure that more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. It is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, business leaders, and government agencies. Across the country there are more than 400 communities, including 3,900 local organizations and 450+ state and local funders who have joined the effort.