NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading: Five Years and Going Strong

This year, NC Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) celebrated five years as the state lead for the NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR). In this role, we are fortunate to work with 14 NC CGLR communities towards a shared vision where diverse and inclusive communities grow thriving readers, beginning at birth and continuing through third grade, so each child is prepared for success. Along with being their biggest cheerleaders, our work as state lead supports sustaining an active learning community to share best practices and resources, developing tools for communities to use in promoting understanding and engagement around grade-level reading, and building the capacity of these communities to form strong collaborations.

Since becoming the state lead in 2015, NCECF has increased the number of NC CGLR communities from three to 14. We’ve published Summer Learning Toolkits to help program providers communicate more effectively with families about how learning all summer long helps children return to school ready to learn. We’ve raised awareness about the importance of regular school attendance through Attendance Toolkits and outreach with NC school superintendents, 65 of whom committed to focus on reducing chronic absenteeism in 2019. Our First 2000 Days initiative was awarded 2017 Best Awareness Campaign by the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

The real stars are our NC CGLR communities who are leading the way in early literacy in NC and across the country. Since 2016, six NC CGLR communities have been honored by the national CGLR for their work to ensure more children from under-resourced communities are reading on grade-level by the end of third grade (see our 2020 honorees). They have adapted their work during the pandemic from shifting to virtual home-visiting services, providing online reading check-ups, and distributing books in new and safe ways.  

We are inspired by the work of these communities and look forward to the next five years as together we commit to addressing the widening gaps resulting from COVID-19. By leading with racial equity, we can grow thriving readers and tackle the opportunity gap that exists for many NC children of color.

NC CGLR Communities