Two NC Communities Recognized by the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Twin Counties Read to Rise in Nash and Edgecombe Counties and Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading have been recognized nationally for their work in 2019 to support children’s early school success.

The NC Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) is the state lead for the NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR), including 14 communities across the state. As part of their affiliation with the NC CGLR, Twin Counties Read to Rise and Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading are eligible to apply for the national Campaign’s annual Pacesetter Awards.

Through a What’s Working Community Challenge, the national CGLR received self-nominations of 214 stories from 50 communities representing 23 states and one Canadian province. The nominated stories were considered, sorted and ranked by panels, totaling 400 community-based peer reviewers.

Ralph Smith, managing director of the national CGLR said “We applaud the civic leaders and local funders whose time, talent, energy and imagination have fueled progress in these Pacesetter Communities. Mobilized communities — like these Pacesetters — support our big bet on the problem-solving potential of proximity.”

Twin Counties Read to Rise and Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading are two of 21 communities in 11 states across the country recognized as Pacesetters for “Mobilizing for Success” and “Deploying Innovative Strategies and Tools.”

Twin Counties Read to Rise Success

To strengthen transition to kindergarten, the Twin Counties Read to Rise collaborative employs evidence-based strategies to support children’s future academic success. Through partnering with the school system, the Down East Partnership for Children (lead organization for the collaborative) provides assistance to 19 elementary schools and 20 child care settings to develop and implement transition plans and coordinate school-based transition activities to increase kindergarten registration and connect children and families to elementary schools prior to the first day of school.

Success is highlighted in 2019 data:
• 89% of kindergarteners in Edgecombe County and 87% of kindergarteners in Nash County were registered before the first day of school.
• 88% of families surveyed in Edgecombe County and 82% of families surveyed in Nash County reported their child had a smooth transition to kindergarten.

Twin Counties Read to Rise was also recognized for its work in expanding collaboration with faith- based organizations to address summer slide through summer feeding programs.

Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Success

The Durham CGLR has focused on bridging medical and literacy partners to strengthen early childhood services. The Campaign has increased its support for literacy initiatives that integrate books into home and medical visits. It coordinates with Reach Out and Read, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and the Durham Connects program to provide free, high-quality, developmentally-appropriate books to children until their fifth birthday and provide a registered nurse to visit a home shortly after a child’s birth. Additionally, Durham CGLR partner Book Harvest supplies Reach Out and Read with books to offer medical providers’ lending libraries.

Congratulations to Twin Counties Read to Rise and Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for a job well done!

The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities working to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. CGLR focuses on promoting early school success as an important building block of more hopeful futures for children in economically challenged families and communities.

The NC CGLR has a vision where diverse and inclusive communities grow thriving readers, beginning at birth and continuing through third grade, so each child is prepared for success. NCECF supports 14 communities across NC in realizing that vision by hosting a learning community and providing resources and tools vital to build a foundation for children to read on grade level by the end of the third grade.