In November, the Atlanta Civic Site hosted a session with leaders in the field of childhood literacy to solicit their advice for strengthening and expanding the Georgia Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
Recognizing that many people already understand the value of early learning and literacy, session participants stressed the need to ensure that existing efforts were aligned and focused on the larger goal of reading at grade level by the end of third grade and developing measures of success. Participants also advocated for the inclusion of literacy in existing and emerging interventions for younger children and child health. The Atlanta Civic Site already is incorporating early reading into health services through the Healthy Beginnings System of Care and United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta's recently launched Project Health Access, which provides two AmeriCorps service members at the civic site focused on healthy activities.
The Georgia Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a statewide effort to ensure that all children are proficient readers by the end of third grade. Like campaigns in 11 other states, Georgia's builds on extensive research documenting the importance of this educational milestone and of supporting literacy development from infancy. The campaign targets the areas of school readiness, student attendance and summer learning loss.
Gov. Nathan Deal has taken a strong stance in support of grade-level reading, launching the Read Across Georgia initiative. Atlanta, Brunswick and Savannah committed to be part of the All-America City Grade-Level Reading Communities Network, and, this fall, Atlanta received a Cities of Service grant to provide one-on-one tutoring in four schools with children in kindergarten through second grade.