Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign Ushers Forth Transformational Change for State’s Youngest Learners

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The Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign, an initiative of the Florida Children’s Council, has released its Impact Summary 2015-2020, detailing the transformational work being done around the state to effectuate change in third grade reading proficiency to help students reach their full potential in the classroom and in life.

“The next generation’s educational success is our imperative work today, and we know that schools alone cannot be held responsible for student achievement,” says Jenn Faber, Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign Director. “Moving the needle on third grade reading proficiency and successful outcomes for children requires significant and strategic contributions from various facets of a community.”

Since its inception in 2015, the Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign has worked across systems to provide opportunities for funders, non-profits, government entities, educators, and community partners to work in alignment to enhance early learning outcomes. Helping to ensure our state’s youngest learners are set up for success, its work focuses on five primary tenets, including:

  1. School Readiness
  2. Attendance
  3. Summer Learning
  4. Family Engagement
  5. Healthy Children

“Closing education equity gaps starts in the early grades,” says Charles Hokanson, Senior Vice President of Florida Community Engagement for the Helios Education Foundation. “Ensuring all children, especially children of color, read at grade level by the end of third grade increases the likelihood they will experience success in the later grades and complete a postsecondary degree. The impact this partnership is having is changing the lives of students and families across Florida.”

Before third grade, children are learning to read; after third grade, they are reading to learn. Without the ability to read and comprehend their studies, children not reading proficiently by the end of third grade struggle to learn more complex subject matter in later grades. Reading proficiency by third grade is the single most important predictor of school and career success. However, according to the Florida Department of Education’s 2021 Florida Standards Assessments Grade 3 English Language Arts Report, more than 56% of Florida’s economically disadvantaged third graders are missing this critical milestone.

In its recently released Impact Summary, the Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign details its community campaign expansion over the last five years, now serving 36 counties. Making significant positive impacts in meaningful ways, the campaign has created helpful early literacy resources for parents and educators, and well as developed productive partnerships across three networks for strategic investments in Florida’s youngest children.

“The Florida Children’s Council and its members could not be prouder of the work that has been accomplished by the Florida Grade Level Reading Campaign and its local campaign partners throughout the state,” says, Michele Watson, CEO of the Florida Children’s Council. “Over the last five years, the Campaign, through support from the Helios Education Foundation, has created unprecedented synergy regarding the importance of 3rd grade reading proficiency and future life success that has been recognized by policymakers, state and local leaders, and business and philanthropic communities.”

By increasing statewide collaborations, supporting meaningful research, enhancing quality programming and championing public policy, the Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign is committed to improving student outcomes preparing them for future success.

Learn more at https://floridaglr.net/.