Dear Grade Level Reading Coalition:
I hope everyone’s summer has gotten off to an amazing start! Here at Grade Level Reading we are hard at work promoting daily reading to help prevent summer learning loss as well as planning for next school year, which we will share more about below.
I also want to thank everyone who attended the Grade Level Reading Coalition Meeting in early June. As always, it was great to get your insight and feedback on our work. We are lucky to have such strong partners. If you would like to see detailed notes from the meeting, please click here.
We look forward to seeing everyone in October for our next Coalition Meeting—stay tuned for the date in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns or feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading
Summer Reading at Grade Level Reading
This summer, we are working with two schools, the Enoch Pratt Free Library and Port Discovery to hold pop-ups that will give families different activities to do at home to fight summer learning loss and also allows them to participate in the Pratt Summer Challenge even if there is not a library close by. We will share more details later in the summer.
In addition, we are once again encouraging partners to help promote the Pratt Summer Challenge that will run through August 15th. This year’s theme is Libraries Rock and students in K-5th grade can win prizes for different learning activities like reading, going to a library program (and there are tons of fun ones), cooking or doing math problems. There are also programs for children 0-5 years old, teens and adults.
First Grade Work Update
Grade Level Reading has been partnering with Baltimore City Public Schools and Improving Education, a non-profit working closely with K and 1st grade teachers to ensure students stay on track in 1st grade, to offer families actionable ways they can support reading growth at home.
Through this partnership, 1st graders at six participating schools received the following resources:
- Building home libraries. Students were given two brand new books to help build their home libraries. Books came with a home learning insert to give families tools to help develop reading skills at home. Students at schools with high ELL populations received bilingual versions of books.
- Connection to Enoch Pratt. All 1st grade classrooms were visited by their local Pratt librarian and also went on a field trip to the Pratt. During these interactions, students learned about all the fun things they can do at the library, including the Summer Challenge. 60 students also got their own library cards.
- Summer Packet. All 1st graders at participating schools received a summer packet with information about the Pratt Summer Challenge and many were enrolled in the program at school so they would be all ready to participate this summer.
- Literacy Milestones Materials. Grade Level Reading worked with community partners to host 10 focus groups with 78 participants to learn what information families would like to receive about their child’s reading development and how they would like to receive it. GLR will use this information to create tools and resources to be distributed this upcoming school year.
As a reminder, the following schools are participating in this project:
- Abbottston Elementary
- Armistead Gardens Elementary/Middle
- Lakeland Elementary/Middle
- Liberty Elementary
- Matthew Henson Elementary
- Woodhome Elementary/Middle
We look forward to refining this work over the summer and continuing this partnership next school year.
As a way to stay connected, we include Coalition needs in our monthly newsletter. Please email Angelique Jessup if there is a need or announcement you would like the Coalition to know about at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Enoch Pratt Free Library has gone fine free—old debts are wiped and there are no late fees for overdue books. More info can be found here.
- Raising A Reader has released their Read-A-Loud video to the public. It features tips for reading aloud at home. Check it out here.
- Mayor Pugh’s Back to School Block Party will be held on Saturday, August 4th from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM at War Memorial Plaza. Save the date and find more information here.
- Baltimore City Children and Youth Fund hosted community capacity building sessions to help groups with grant writing. Learn more about the event and the fund here.
- If you– or someone you know — are 18-24 and studied a trade in a Baltimore City Public Schools high school, the Fund for Educational Excellence wants to hear about your experience. Please consider participating in a 45-minute interview for our research study, and earn $30 for your time. More information here.
- The Maryland Book Bank has moved! Visit them in their new location 1794 Union Ave Baltimore MD 21211. Hours and more information can be found here.
- Check out and share Baltimore Recreation and Parks Summer Guide to find fun summer programming and events.
- Thank you and best wishes to Carrie Finkelstein, Grade Level Reading’s Program Manager, who has been with Grade Level Reading for the last five years. At the end of July, Carrie will be leaving the Campaign to pursue her Masters in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh. Carrie has spearheaded our Little Free Library Program and led the implementation of our Family Literacy Nights. We will miss her tremendously and look forward to her visits to Baltimore.