GLR Update: Prog..

What’s Happening

Dear Grade Level Reading Coalition:

It’s hard to believe that school starts next week. It’s been a busy summer at the Campaign. We worked closely with the Enoch Pratt Free Library and Baltimore City Public Schools to promote daily reading by encouraging students to participate in the Pratt Summer Reading Program. In addition, we launched our Little Free Library Project, which has provided over 20 Little Free Libraries to date to communities in Baltimore. In this newsletter, we’ll introduce you to our newest Little Free Library recipients.
The search for the new Program Director for the Campaign is progressing well. We’ve had a great response to the listing and are preparing to conduct final interviews. We hope to make an offer soon.
I hope everyone has a great start to the school year. 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

GLR in the Media

Fox 45 pSA

This summer the Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading partnered with Fox 45 to increase awareness of the Little Free Library Project and to show families how reading is everywhere. Fox 45 produced two PSAs for the Campaign that will air through the end of August. Please check out the Little Free Library and Reading is Everywhere PSAs and share with your networks.

In addition, the Campaign has appeared twice on the Fox 45 Morning Show to promote the project with Little Free Library leaders, Sharicca Boldon, from Girl Scouts Troop #10048, and Mallorie Malloy-Coe, from Inheritance Child Care. The Campaign wants to thank Fox 45 and Kai Jackson for their support of this project and for giving us the opportunity to share a little more about the project with the community.

Welcome to the Coalition Our Next 8 Little Free Library Partners

Little Free Library Round 2 Collage

The Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake and Mural Masters Inc., plans to provide a total of 35 Little Free Libraries to communities across Baltimore City. To-date, 20 Little Free Libraries are already up and running and we are thrilled to share the next eight recipients below. They range from neighborhood associations to day cares to schools to recreation centers. Through this project we are very excited to work with such a diverse range of community partners to increase access to books in our city and engage families in Baltimore in reading. Over the next couple of weeks, we will work to identify seven additional communities to host Little Free Libraries, bringing our total up to 35 in just 15 months.

The recipients of the next eight Little Free Libraries are:

  • Center for Urban Families (Mondawmin)
  • Centro Sol  (Highlandtown)
  • Fred B. Ledig Recreation Center (Beechfield)
  • Inheritance Childcare (Northwood)
  • John Ruhrah Elementary/ Middle School (Greektown/ Bayview)
  • Lakeland Elementary/ Middle School (Lakeland)
  • Pop Farm (Hollins Market)
  • Seton Hill Neighborhood Association (Seton Hill)

For information about locations, visit

Thanks very much to the David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation and the T. Rowe Price Foundation for their generous support of this project.

Back to School

The first day of school in Baltimore is this coming Monday, August 29th. As part of the strengthening transitions pilot, the Baltimore School Climate Collaborative, B’more for Healthy Babies, Baltimore City Public School’s Office of Early Learning, Head Start, Baltimore City Child Care Resource Center, and Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore distributed more than 870 back to school toolkits for Pre-K and K students at 10 schools. The kits included a Never Late Nate coloring book that focuses on the importance of attendance, a white board that helps to guide families through a nightly routine to make sure they are ready for school the next day and monthly activity sheets that explain what children should be learning each month.This pilot aims to strengthen transitions to public Pre-K and Kindergarten for students from early childhood settings.

In addition, the Baltimore School Climate Collaborative distributed over 800 back to school door hangers to the Community Schools to encourage strong attendance during the first month of school.

Principal Support Fund Launches At Fund For Educational Excellence

Funded by proceeds from the Heart of the School Awards, along with targeted donations, the Fund for Educational Excellence recently launched the Principal Support Fund to support principal-identified, school-specific needs such as professional development for principals or staff, programs for schools, funding for events, and acquiring vital resources. All City Schools principals are eligible to apply for up to $5,000, although they anticipate an average grant of between $2,000 and $3,000. The first of six deadlines this year is September 1, 2016. Please visit the Heart of the School Awards website for additional information.

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

  • Tonight, Friday, August 26th, from 5pm-9pm Audacity of Hope is hosting a Back to School Party featuring free school supplies for the first 300 students, a DJ and more. Find out more and spread the word. 
  • Join Inhertiance Early Child Care Centers and Catherine’s Family Youth Services for a Back to School Commuunity Event this Saturday, August 27th from 12pm-3pm. Free school supplies will be available at the event. Find out more and spread the word. 
  • 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.
  • Check out this message from Baltimore City Public Schools’ CEO, Dr. Santelises, about the first day of school.
  • Reading Partners is looking for volunteer tutors to work with struggling readers throughout the school year. Find out more.
  • The Baltimore Book Festival is September 23rd- 25th. Check out the schedule of events here.

The National Conference on Summer and Afterschool Learning will be held in Seattle from October 24th- 26th. Learn more here.