June 2018 Coalit..

June 2018–Grade Level Reading Coalition Notes

First Grade Project

  • 1st grade project this year was partnership between Improving Education, Baltimore City Public Schools and six schools. It focused on book distribution, literacy achievement and milestone materials, and summer learning
  • Book distribution included an insert created by teachers with ways for families to engage further with the book and build important skills (insert attached)

Pratt Connection

  • All first grade classes at the six schools have been visited by their Pratt Librarian
  • All six participating schools went on field trips to the Pratt—425 students in total
    • 60 students got a new library card

Summer Learning

  • Will partner with the Pratt and Port Discovery to host summer learning “pop-ups” at two of the focus schools (Matthew Henson and Armistead Gardens)
  • Pop-ups will be held twice over the summer at both schools to give the community opportunities to sign up for the Pratt Summer Challenge, check out and return books, and participate in summer challenge activities.
  • Promote Pratt Summer Reading Challenge by distributing this flyer (English & Spanish).

Focus Groups

  • Still finalizing the analysis, but in general there is a desire from parents and caregivers to get more information about what their child is learning
    • Parents and caregivers would like more information about formative assessments
    • Many parents are not aware of summer literacy/learning loss
    • Need for clarity and consistency on homework expectation
    • Found that many focus group participants are entrepreneurial parents as well as parent ambassadors that teach and advocate for other parents in the community

District Approach

  • City schools has recommended a new language arts curriculum for next school year to the Board—Wit & Wisdom, a literacy based curriculum with a humanities approach. Video link here: http://www.baltimorecityschools.org/Page/33507

Brainstorm and Discussion

  • The Coalition brainstormed ways the Campaign could improve the process of getting information from the school out to parents. Some of these include:
    • Teacher Demonstration videos to teach parents what is being taught in the classroom and how to keep track of child’s progress and reinforce learning at home.
    • Comprehensive and accessible online database/platform for parents that includes lessons, chatroom, call hotline, and skype.
    • Focus on relationship building between parents, teachers and the school via an on-site liaison and community resource center, located in the school office. Outside of school, parents would be able to access a virtual app as a resource for homework help.


  • As of last week, Enoch Pratt has gone fine free—old debts are wiped and there are no more late fees for overdue books. More info can be found here: http://www.prattlibrary.org/finefree/
  • Pratt Summer Challenge starts on June 13th—flyer is attached and more info can be found here: http://www.prattlibrary.org/summerchallenge/
  • Join the Center for Urban Families this Saturday, June 9th at 11:00 am for their Baltimore Superdad Expo.
  • 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.