GLR Update: Orde..

What’s Happening

Dear Grade Level Reading Coalition:

I hope this message finds you well.

Here at the Campaign, we are in high gear for summer. In this newsletter, you’ll learn about some of this work:

  • Little Free Library grant recipients and how they are promoting summer reading;
  • Family Literacy Nights, in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools, to give families fun ways to build literacy skills at home;
  • Trainings for summer providers on how to infuse literacy into programming; and
  • A recent donation from Scholastic to increase access to books in Baltimore this summer.

We will be printing flyers again this year for Coalition members to distribute to promote the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Summer Challenge. We also have additional promotional materials to promote daily reading. You can preview the materials below — please fill out the google form to let us know if you are able to distribute.

We’ll have more on our summer work and an update on the direction the Campaign is headed at our upcoming Coalition Meeting on Thursday, June 1st from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM at the Family League of Baltimore. I am looking forward to seeing you all there.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or feedback you may have.

In Partnership,
Angelique Jessup
Program Director

Let Us Know if You Would Like Summer Challenge Flyers and Daily Reading Promotional Materials

The Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Summer Challenge is a great way for students to combat the summer slide. This program encourages children of all ages to participate in summer learning activities in order to gain prizes. The program begins June 14th.

This year, GLR will be printing flyers (free of charge) that Coalition Members can distribute to promote the program. You can view the flyer here. To reserve flyers please fill out this google form. Flyers will be distributed at our upcoming Coalition Meeting on Thursday, June 1st at 9:00 AM at the Family League.

In addition, the Campaign has revised our daily reading brochure and magnet to make them more interactive and appealing to students and their families. You can check out the new brochure and magnet and let us know if you would like to distribute (free of charge) by filling out this google form. Please note, this brochure and magnet will not be available for distribution at the Coalition Meeting, but we will arrange a time for pick up/ delivery by the end of June.

Scholastic Donates 5,000 Books to Little Free Libraries

We are excited to announce that Scholastic donated over 5,000 books to be distributed through Grade Level Reading’s Little Free Libraries. This tremendous donation from Scholastic means each GLR Little Free Library will receive over 100 new books. We’d like to extend a special thanks to Baltimore City Public Schools for their advocacy and partnership and to Raising A Reader for letting us store the books in their space. We are excited to get these books out to children in Baltimore.

Little Free Library Grants Update

Grade Level Reading’s Little Free Libraries had the opportunity to apply for grants of $500- $1,000 to further promote reading strategies in their communities. The Campaign received 13 applications for projects ranging from reading-themed block parties to family reading circles to site specific summer reading competitions. We are excited to see the great work that happens on these projects and will share more information in the coming months.

The Little Free Libraries recieving grants are:

  • Centro Sol
  • Center for Urban Families
  • Cherry Hill Homes
  • DRU/ Mondawmin Healthy Families
  • GEM Program at Captivate Baltimore
  • Greenspring Overlook
  • Inheritance Childcare
  • Lakeland Elementary/ Middle
  • Lexington Market
  • Pedestal Gardens Apartments
  • Pop! Farm
  • Southeast Community Action Partnership (Mayor’s Office)

Thanks to the T. Rowe Price Foundation and the David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation for their support of the Little Free Library project.

Family Literacy Nights

Grade Level Reading, in partnership with the City Schools Offices of Engagement and Teaching and Learning, is hosting two Family Literacy Nights one at Mary E. Rodman Elementary (tonight, May 24th from 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM) and one at Hazelwood Elementary/Middle (on June 7th from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM). These programs will give families tools to help their children build literacy skills at home. Activities will focus on fun and engaging ways that families can support phonics, phonemic awareness and writing skills. Families will each leave with 8 tip cards detailing literacy building exercises to do and the materials they need in order to recreate these activities including magnetic letter tiles, story pages, and a book.

One goal of these events is to help us create a turn-key event that can be utilized by multiple schools next year. Using lessons learned, GLR will work with City Schools to create a toolkit with a step-by-step guide for schools – or other community groups — to use to implement their own Family Literacy Night for their communities.

If you would like to volunteer at the Family Literacy Night at Hazelwood Elementary/ Middle on Wednesday, June 7th from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM, please email Carrie at

We look forward to sharing more information as this project continues.

Summer Provider Training

On Monday, June 12th from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Grade Level Reading is partnering with the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Family League of Baltimore and the Summer Funding Collaborative to facilitate a training for summer providers focused on infusing literacy into programs for students in grades pre-k through 5th. This will be a hands-on, interactive, workshop that will model different literacy activities that can be implemented at programs. Providers will leave with a book, information about how their students can participate in the Summer Challenge at the Pratt Library and concrete skills to help their students build literacy skills over the summer.

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 Fund For Educational Excellence recently released their latest report “Calculated Choices: Equity and Opportunity in Baltimore City Public Schools,” that lays bare that school choice has yet to fulfill its promise: there remains a relative lack of access to advanced academics programs for our lowest-income students. Read the report here.
  • The Maryland Book Bank’s Raven’s Book Mobile is scheduling visits for this summer. You can apply for a visit here.
  • Changes to the bus routes in Baltimore will occur on June 18th, 2017. Get more information here and help spread the word.
  • National Summer Learning Day is July 13th, 2017. Planning an event? Add it to the map here.
  • The National Summer Learning Conference will be October 23rd- 25th, 2017. Find out more here.