Mobilizing Community Action
Since 2015, the NC Early Childhood Foundation has served as the state lead for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in North Carolina. The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has mobilized 300 communities across the country 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, non-profit organizations, business leaders and government agencies supporting children’s school readiness, summer learning and regular school attendance.
North Carolina’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading 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. Thirteen community collaboratives, listed below, currently participate in the NC Campaign.
- Chatham Reads
- Durham’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
- READ ENC Community Literacy Coalition
- Gaston County Early Literacy Collaborative
- Growing Moore Readers
- Read to Grow, Johnston County
- Orange County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
- Read Wayne
- Read Charlotte
- Ready for School, Ready for Life – Guilford County
- Ready, Set Read ROWAN!
- Twin Counties Read to Rise
- WAKE Up and Read
The NC Early Childhood Foundation’s role as state lead for the NC Campaign includes building the capacity of communities to form strong and long-lasting collaborations to achieve measurable outcomes. We do this by:
- Creating and sustaining a learning community to share best practices, data and resources.
- Developing adaptable tools for communities to promote understanding of birth-to-eight child development and the importance of grade-level reading.
- Supporting communities in successfully moving partners from being informed to being engaged to being active in the campaign.
More communities are mobilized for action.
- Since becoming the state lead for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in 2015, we increased the number of communities from three to 13. Communities give our support high marks.
- NC Campaign communities have reported our Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Measures of Success as essential to their strategic planning, onboarding of coalition members and recognition of the need to deliberately address racial equity.
- For two summers, 2018 and 2019, the Summer Learning Toolkit – published in English and Spanish and updated annually – was the most popular page on the NCECF website and viewed approximately 2,000 times.
- Through our outreach for Attendance Awareness Month in 2019, 65 NC school superintendents committed “to focusing on reducing chronic absenteeism to give all children an equitable opportunity to learn, grow and thrive academically, emotional and socially.”
- Our First 2000 Days initiative was awarded 2017 Best Awareness Campaign by the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
- In 2017, the Department of Public Instruction featured the work of six NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading communities on their website.
- Since 2016, six NC Campaign communities have been honored by the national Campaign for Grade-Level reading for their work to ensure more children from low-income families are reading on grade-level by the end of third grade.
- We supported Book Harvest in creating a Parent Action Team to deepen engagement with parents of the children they serve. The group helped develop materials and recommended outreach opportunities for Durham parents to support their children’s summer learning. We created materials in English and Spanish.
We provide adaptable tools for communities to promote understanding of birth-to-eight child development and the importance of grade-level reading.
We build capacity of communities to form strong and long-lasting collaborations to achieve measurable outcomes.
We lead a learning community to share best practices, data and resources; provide technical assistance and support; and create opportunities to increase the scope and pace of change.
Read Charlotte is nationally recognized as a 2021 Bright Spot for their innovative, effective, and sustainable work implementing Reading Checkup during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read to Grow in Johnston County joins the campaign. The Partnership for Children of Johnston County is leading the collaborative.
Book Harvest is named a 2020 Library of Congress Best Practices Honoree for its outstanding literacy work with young children.
Read ENC of Pitt County is awarded the James B.Hunt Literacy Award by the North Carolina Reading Association.
Twin Counties Read to Rise is recognized as a national Pacesetter for its 2019 expansion of its evidence-based Kaleidoscope Play and Learn Groups program to support young children at home.
The Durham Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, with its partner Book Harvest, is recognized as a national Bright Spot for its 2019 Books and Beyond program which turns laundromats into literacy enrichment opportunities.
Ready for School, Ready for Life from Guilford County joins the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
65 NC School Superintendents pledge to reduce chronic absenteeism in their districts.
WAKE Up and Read has been named a Pacesetter by the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for its 2018 work to support early school success.
Chatham Reads and Grow Moore Readers (in Moore County) are featured as Bright Spots by the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for their 2017 summer learning programs.
WAKE Up and Read is featured as a Bright Spot by the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for its 2017 Partners Read program to bring volunteers to schools to read to children.
Read Charlotte receives a Pacesetter Award from the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for creating a Data Collaborative in 2017.
Community groups in Orange County become part of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
READ ENC Community Literacy Coalition joins the campaign.
Organizations in Johnston County file letters of intent to join the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
Chatham and Durham communities become part of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
Six Campaign communities are featured by the NC Department of Public Instruction for their work to ensure more children are ready for school, continue to learn over the summer and regularly attend school.
NCECF receives national award for Best Awareness Campaign at the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading conference.
Read Charlotte is honored as a Pacesetter by the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for its 2016 exemplary community-wide mobilization, cross-sector collaboration and strong funder coalition.
WAKE Up and Read is recognized as a Pacesetter by the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for measurable progress in 2016 in school readiness for children from low-income families.
Growing Moore Readers (Moore County) is recognized as a national Campaign Bright Spot for its 2016 successful summer learning program called Reading Feeding Frenzy.
Organizations in Nash/Edgecombe, Rowan and Wayne counties join the Campaign.
Community organizations in Durham, Guilford, Nash/Edgecombe, Orange, Richmond, Rowan and Wayne counties file letters of intent to join the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
NCECF hosts a pre-conference on the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading at the national Smart Start conference with follow-up webinars for communities interested in joining.
Southern Pines Grows Great Readers, now known as Growing Moore Readers, is honored as a Pacesetter by the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for making measurable progress in 2015 on eliminating barriers faced by children from low-income families on the path to becoming proficient readers.
Organizations in Gaston County become part of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
Organizations in Chatham and Gaston counties file letters of intent to join the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
NCECF is appointed state lead in North Carolina for the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. There are three communities already participating in the Campaign in Mecklenburg, Moore and Wake counties.
2020 Summer Learning Toolkit
Our 2020 Summer Learning Toolkit is a great resource for summer program providers! Our easy to use tools can help program staff understand the importance of summer learning, so that they can communicate effectively with parents.
Key Concepts to Inform Grade-Level Reading Policy
Smart investments in children’s early years produce the best outcomes in education, health and economic well being for North Carolina. When all children are given the best opportunity to realize their potential and grow up to be productive adults who can give back and strengthen our communities, North Carolina prospers.
What Works for Third Grade Reading: Summer Learning
This brief considers why Summer Learning matters for third grade reading proficiency, outlines its connection with other factors that impact early literacy, and highlights options that have been shown to move the needle on summer learning outcomes. It is one of 12 working papers that offer research-based policy, practice and program options to states and communities working to improve third grade reading proficiency.
What Works for Third Grade Reading: Regular Attendance
The brief considers why regular attendance at preschool and the early grades matters for third grade reading proficiency, outlines its connection with other factors that impact early literacy, and highlights options that have been shown to move the needle on attendance. It is one of 12 working papers that offer research-based policy, practice and program options to states and communities working to improve third grade reading proficiency.