DENVER, Colo. — A plan to eliminate the achievement gap in third-grade reading levels in the Quad-Cities won a national All-America City Award today, sponsored by the national Civic League.
The plan, led by the United Way of the Quad-Cities Area, was developed by a coalition of 25 Quad-City area partners, including nonprofit organizations, school districts and local libraries.
The plan looks to capitalize on already-existing programs and initiatives in the Quad-Cities, such as Parent Cafes, and brings them to scale for the entire community. It also identifies service gaps and recommends a public awareness campaign about the importance of grade-level reading.
Beyond the contest, the Quad-Cities’ plan makes the community a charter member in a national movement of local leaders, nonprofits and foundations putting a stake in the ground on third-grade reading. Third grade 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, according to a news release from the United Way.
“We are honored that the Quad Cities won the All-America City Award,” said Scott Crane, United Way of the Quad Cities Area president said in a news release. “Receiving this award is a recognition of the great, collaborative work we’ve been doing as a region. Most importantly, it will help implement the plan to ensure all of our community’s children are reading by grade level, which will put them on track for high school graduation and success in life.“