“So many communities are doing a great job in using collaborative efforts to improve grade-level reading, that it was hard to select this year’s award winners,” said Doug Linkhart, President of the National Civic League. “This year’s All-America Cities are engaging a diverse cross-section of residents, businesses, nonprofits and other stakeholders in the grade-level reading effort, which will help sustain their achievements over time.”
To select the 15 Award recipients, a panel of judges examined the progress reports from the 27 communities that were nominated as finalists. The 2017 AAC Award recipients are communities that:
- Demonstrated they have moved the needle on outcomes for children from low-income families in at least two of the following community solutions areas: school readiness, school attendance, summer learning and/or grade-level reading.
- Addressed the National Civic League’s key process criteria of civic engagement, cross-sector collaboration and inclusiveness.
- Created a plan for sustainability and for aligning, linking, stacking and bundling proven and the most promising programs, practices, and strategies.
Data collected by the U.S. Department of Education on fourth-grade students taking reading tests has shown that a wide gap exists for children from low-income families, especially among black and Hispanic children, compared to children from more affluent, white and Asian families. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading now has more than 300 communities nationwide that have formed local coalitions to work together with parents, schools and other groups to close this reading gap and help more children succeed in school.
To learn more about the AAC Award criteria and to view profiles for each AAC Award recipient, visit gradelevelreading.net/aacaward.