BROWARD COUNTY RECOGNIZED FOR WORK IN SUPPORTING
EARLY SCHOOL SUCCESS
LAUDERHILL, JUNE 13, 2018 – The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading announced today that it will recognize Broward County, Florida, with Pacesetter Honors for its work in 2017. “Recognizing Pacesetters is our way of applauding and thanking the civic leaders, organizations and agencies that have joined forces to build brighter futures for children in their communities,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “We are learning with them and from them what it takes to move the needle and close the gap. Mobilized communities — like these Pacesetters — are essential to achieving early school success.”
Each year, the GLR Campaign uses its Pacesetter Honors to highlight communities that report making measurable progress on key indicators of early school success. These communities serve as proof points and represent the “leading edge” of innovation, impact and improvement within the GLR Network, currently comprised of more than 360 GLR Campaign communities, representing 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada.
“Broward Reads for the Record has brought together dozens of organizations from all sectors that work hard to provide children with the tools they need to be successful in school and beyond,” said Cindy Arenberg Seltzer, President/CEO of the Children’s Services Council of Broward County, and co-chair of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading in Broward. “Our partnerships and coalition building ensure professionals working with all children have the tools that can help close the educational achievement gap. We are extremely proud that our efforts are being recognized through this designation.”
Members of the Broward Reads coalition partnered on multiple initiatives targeting the campaign focus areas and identified areas of need in Broward County. Two of these initiatives were Broward Reads in Your City and Broward Kid Culture. Broward Reads in Your City grew through the campaign as a strategy to increase involvement of Broward’s 31 cities in our local early literacy efforts. The campaign team challenged cities to pass a resolution in support of Broward Reads, designate a city representative to attend the Broward Reads bimonthly meetings, and implement initiatives focused on school readiness, summer slide, chronic absenteeism, and family engagement. Response was impressive with 21 total cities joining over the past year and increased involvement evident through literacy mentoring programs, free little libraries, incentives supporting attendance and academic achievement, and more.
Broward Kid Culture stemmed from the Campaign’s goal of increased family experiences to support school readiness. Through the Broward Arts and Cultural Division, 22 arts and cultural organizations, including Broward Center for Performing Arts, Young at Art, Flamingo Gardens, Museum of Discovery and Art, and more, have joined together to implement strategies targeting families with young children and provide FREE passes for families from low socioeconomic environments to participate. The program launched in Fall 2017 with outreach to over 5,000 families, including children from Head Start and local childcare providers. Together, these families’ experiences will lead to increased talk, background knowledge, vocabulary, and overall increased family learning and bonding. By working through our campaign collaboration, we were able to combine forces for greater impact, working together to lead and implement across multiple organizations aligned towards a common goal.
The Broward Reads coalition includes many organizations dedicated to early learning and education with sufficient support from community partners. With leadership from CSC, the Broward County Commission, the School Board of Broward County Public (BCPS) and the Early Learning Coalition (ELC) and commitments from Broward County Library System, United Way, Family Central, Jim Moran Foundation, A.D. Henderson Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Broward the coalition is truly a system wide collaboration.
Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a critical milestone toward high school graduation and career success because it marks the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” National tests show that two-thirds of U.S. fourth-graders (four-fifths of whom are from low-income families) are not reading proficiently. Students who have not mastered reading by that time are more likely to drop out of high school and struggle throughout their lives.
About the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Launched in 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. Since its launch, the GLR Campaign has grown to include more than 360 communities, representing 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada — with 4,100 local organizations and 510 state and local funders (including 191 United Ways). To learn more, visit gradelevelreading.net and follow the movement on Twitter @readingby3rd.
About Children’s Services Council of Broward County
The Children’s Services Council of Broward County is an independent taxing authority which was established by a public referendum on September 5, 2000, and was reauthorized on November 4, 2014, which, through Public Act, Chapter 2000-461 of the laws of Florida, authorized the Council to levy up to 0.5 mills of property taxes. The role of the Council is to provide the leadership, advocacy and resources necessary to enhance children’s lives and empower them to become responsible, productive adults through collaborative planning and funding of a continuum of quality care.