GLR Update: Octo..

What’s Happening

Dear Grade Level Reading Coalition:

I hope all is well. As we shared a few weeks ago, we are thrilled that Angelique Jessup will join the Campaign as our new Program Director on October 10th. I know she will be an asset to the Campaign and am excited for you all to meet her once she comes on board. We will send the date for the next GLR Coalition Meeting shortly after her arrival.

In this newsletter, we have some exciting updates to share about our Little Free Libraries Initiative, as well as an update on the results of the Family League’s Success Coaches pilot to reduce chronic absenteeism.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or feedback you may have.

Roger Schulman
President & CEO of the Fund for Educational Excellence

Our Newest Little Free Libraries

Lexington Market

As many of you know, this summer, the Campaign continued its partnership with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake and Mural Masters to provide Little Free Libraries to communities in Baltimore. Little Free Libraries are a national movement to install free-standing structures where anyone may come at any time to “take or leave a book.” We are happy to report that there are now 27 GLR Little Free Libraries in neighborhoods across our city. Through this project we’ve had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of community partners to increase access to books and engage families in Baltimore in reading.

We are pleased to share the final 8 recipients of Little Free Libraries for this year, bringing the total of GLR Little Free Libraries up to 35.

The recipients of the final 8 Little Free Libraries are:

  • Black Excellence Project at KIPP Harmony (Park Heights)
  • Brehms Lane Public Charter School (Belair-Edison)
  • Fountain of Life Community Development Center (Garwyn Oaks)
  • Friends of Druid Hill Park (Greater Mondawmin Area)
  • GEM Program at Captivate Church (McElderry Park)
  • Grace Memorial Baptist Church (Middle East)
  • Station North Arts & Entertainment, INC at the YNOT Lot (Station North)
  • York Road Initiative (York Road Corridor)

To see all GLR Little Free Library locations, check out

We want to thank the David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation and the T. Rowe Price Foundation for their generous support of this project.

Success Coaches

The Family League of Baltimore drew upon a successful school mentoring initiative in New York to develop and implement a pilot called Success Coaches in four Community Schools in Baltimore. This pilot paired K-8 students at risk for chronic absence with teachers and other school staff to build close relationships to encourage daily attendance. Data collected from three of the four schools showed that before Success Coaches 70% of students participating were chronically absent, whereas after, only 48% were. You can see more information about this pilot here and in the graphic below. This pilot was supported with funding from OSI-Baltimore.


Partnership Toolkit: A Guide to Partnering With Schools in Baltimore City 

Baltimore City Public Schools worked in partnership with Baltimore’s Promise to revamp their partnership toolkit that serves as a guide for organizations hoping to partner with schools in Baltimore City.

In this toolkit, you can find a wealth of practical, easy-to-access information on how to develop and sustain school-community partnerships, including how to find new schools to partner with, how to make sure you’ve met all the City Schools requirements such as liability insurance and background checks, how to navigate formal written agreements, and more. You can find the toolkit 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

  • The Maryland Book Bank launched its Raven’s Bookmobile, a mobile library packed with close to 2,500 books, including picture books, leveled readers, easy chapter books that children can keep for their own home library. To find out more about the Book Bank’s partnership with the Ravens, click here.
  • Light’s On Afterschool is October 20th. This is a nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. Find out how you can get involved.
  • The Wallace Foundation released a study that found that “high quality summer learning programs benefit high attending students in math and reading.” You can read the full study here.
  • Children ages 0-5 can receive a FREE book in the mail each month by signing up for the Governor’s Young Reader’s Initiative. Please share, you can sign up here.
  • Reading Partners is looking for volunteer tutors to work with struggling readers throughout the school year. Find out more.
  • The National Conference on Summer and Afterschool Learning will be held in Seattle from October 24th- 26th. Learn more here.