An ambitious plan to ensure that more San Antonio area children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade has been chosen as a finalist for the All-America City Award, sponsored each year by the National Civic League.
The plan was submitted by a community coalition that included the City of San Antonio, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County, Generation TX, the University of Texas at San Antonio, AVANCE-San Antonio, City Year, Family Service Association of San Antonio, and the P16 Plus Council. The plan builds on multiple community-wide efforts to improve educational success for children including initiatives launched through SA2020, Eastside Promise Neighborhood, and the San Antonio Brainpower Taskforce. The City and its partners already manage several existing initiatives that target school readiness, attendance, and summer learning.
"This recognition highlights the important strides we are making to improve the academic trajectory of San Antonio children at a critical time in their educational development," Mayor Julián Castro said.
San Antonio is one of 32 finalists selected through a peer review process from a field of more than 100 entries across the country. Winners will be announced July 2, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.
"It's a great honor for San Antonio to be selected as a finalist; we are genuinely pleased and extremely proud to be acknowledged for our community-wide education efforts," said City Manager Sheryl Sculley. "The City is committed to providing the accessibility to educational tools that can help our youth obtain their career goals and become successful adults."
Beyond the award contest, San Antonio's plan makes the city a charter member in a national movement of local leaders, nonprofits and foundations putting a stake in the ground on third-grade reading. That milestone marks the point when children shift from learning to read and begin reading to learn. Students who haven't mastered reading by then are more likely to get stuck in a cycle of academic failure, drop out of school, and struggle throughout their lives. As a charter member of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Community Network, San Antonio will have access to a Promising Practices Clearinghouse, an online help desk, peer-learning opportunities, meetings with national experts and policymakers, and a foundation registry designed to expand and replicate successful programs.
The 124 cities and counties involved in the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Community Network are adopting a collective impact strategy, engaging the full community around the goal of supporting low-income children from birth through third grade. The plans involve schools but acknowledge that they alone cannot address the myriad problems that keep children from learning to read. The strategies include ensuring that children arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed, attend school regularly and keep learning through the summer months.
For media inquiries regarding the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Community Network Conference & Awards Ceremony (June 30 - July 2, 2012 - Denver, CO) and/or the National Civic League, contact:
Phone: (301) 656-0348 | (202) 413-2247 | FAX: (301) 656-0633