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Communities Recognized for Literacy Work

Twenty-five communities are being recognized today for their work to ensure that children are reading proficiently by the time they reach 3rd grade.

The awards are part of an ongoing movement called the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which has organized a network of communities that have pledged to press hard on the goal of 3rd grade reading proficiency. As we told you last year (here and here), dozens of cities have joined the effort. As of this week, 124 cities in 34 states are participating. The efforts are designed to involve not just city governments and school districts, but philanthropies and local nonprofits, businesses and social-service agencies.

The campaign got going last year, when funders and nonprofits banded together to offer support to communities that wanted to do this work. But that was what you might call a soft launch. Today marks its official kickoff, with a big confab in Denver and the announcement of "PaceSetter" awards to 25 cities with a track record of strong collaborative work on 3rd grade reading. Another 14 cities are winning All-America City Awards from the National Civic League, as well, for submitting outstanding plans to pursue such work in the coming months. [UPDATED: Click here for the list of those 14 cities and their plans.]

Key focus areas for the campaign in advancing 3rd grade literacy are chronic absenteeism, school readiness,and summer learning loss.

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