GLR July 2017 Ne..

What’s Happening

Dear Grade Level Reading Coalition:

I hope this message finds you well. Summer is in full swing here at the Campaign. In this newsletter, we’ll share some of the amazing things our Little Free Libraries have been up to, how you can continue to promote the Enoch Pratt Free Library Summer Challenge, and much more.

The new school year is just around the corner. With this in mind, we are working diligently to finalize our goals for this upcoming school year to help ensure all kids have the resources they need to be strong readers by the end of third grade. Stay tuned, as we will share more in our next newsletter.
In Partnership,

Angelique Jessup
Program Director
Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading

What’s Going on At Little Free Libraries this Summer

GLR’s Little Free Libraries know the importance of summer reading. In order to fight summer learning loss, many are hosting activities around their Little Free Libraries to promote reading. Some of these activities include:

  • El Club de la Lectura. A bilingual reading club for families run by Centro Sol at Johns Hopkins Bayview.
  • Summer Reading Competition. Greenspring Overlook Apartments is running their own summer reading competition for families in their complex. Families are also encouraged to participate in the Pratt Summer Challenge.
  • Family Reading Circle. This program created by Center for Urban Families, with the support of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, included four sessions for families to read together and learn skills they can use to promote reading skills at home.
  • Story time at the Druid Hill Farmer’s Market. Children can gather to hear a story every Wednesday during the Druid Hill Farmer’s Market.
  • Literacy Ambassadors. Pop Farm!’s Youth Workers are tasked this summer with promoting the farm and Little Free Library. Two of the Youth Workers will continue working with the organization this fall to run literacy activities in the community around the Little Free Library at Pop Farm.

Many of these activities are supported by small grants given by GLR through a grant from the T. Rowe Price Foundation. We thank the foundation for their support of this project.

Family Literacy Nights

Grade Level Reading, in partnership with City Schools’ Offices of Engagement and Teaching and Learning, hosted two Family Literacy Nights — at Mary E. Rodman Elementary and Hazelwood Elementary/Middle — for over 150 caregivers and their children. The goal was to share activities families can do at home to promote reading skills. You can learn more about these nights in this video.

We are working with City Schools to determine how schools can replicate these literacy nights this school year and are excited to share more in the upcoming months.

Promote the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Summer Challenge

It’s not too late to register for the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Summer Challenge. People of all ages can receive prizes for completing learning activities each day when they sign up at their local Enoch Pratt Free Library Branch. The program runs through August 16th. You can learn more here.

As a reminder, we will once again reward the Baltimore City Public School whose K-5th graders show the biggest increase in days read over last year. The top school will receive $1,000 for literacy resources and the second place winner will receive $500. Please help raise awareness of the competition by sharing these Facebook & Twitter posts. This year the Pratt branch that increases their days read the most will also receive a prize.

Volunteer at Mayor’s Block Parties With City Schools Engagement Office

The City Schools Office of Engagement is looking for volunteers to support at Mayor Catherine Pugh’s Block Parties. Volunteers will help facilitate fun literacy games. The full list of dates can be found here. If there is a Block Party you would like to attend, please email Carrie at

Mayor’s Back to School Rally

Save the date for Mayor Catherine Pugh’s Back to School Rally on Saturday, August 5th at the War Memorial Plaza from 11:00 AM- 3:00 PM. School supplies, backpacks and more will be available for free while supplies last during this event.

GLR Program Director Selected for White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellows

We are excited to share that Grade Level Reading Program Director, Angelique Jessup, was chosen as one of only sixteen White-Riley-Peterson Fellows. The fellowship “equips graduates with a real world understanding of the art and science of sound policy-making for afterschool and expanded learning. In the 10-month program, which begins in October, Fellows will study afterschool/expanded learning policy and develop and implement state-level policy projects in partnership with their Statewide Afterschool Networks and the national Afterschool Alliance.”
Grade Level Reading is excited for the opportunity to focus on how extended learning opportunities can play a bigger role in our work and to learn best practices we can replicate in Baltimore.

Read the full press release here.

Coalition Updates

As a way to stay connected, we include Coalition needs in our monthly newsletter. Please email Carrie Finkelstein if there is a need or announcement you would like the Coalition to know about at

  • Reading Partners Baltimore is seeking a Program Director to lead, develop and mobilize a team of program managers and AmeriCorps members to implement all aspects of Reading Partners’ program with high quality and fidelity. See the full job posting here.
  • Sign up to volunteer with the Maryland Book Bank and help get books to children in Baltimore. August dates can be found here.
  • Literacy Lab recently piloted their Leading Men Fellowship. The program trains recent D.C. public school graduates to be literacy coaches in some of the poorest schools in the city. Read more here.
  • Annie E. Casey has released their most recent Kids Count Report. Check it out to find out state trends in child well-being.
  • Study finds that “African-American boys who tell better stories as preschoolers may learn to read more quickly.” Learn more here.