Dear Grade Level Reading Coalition,
I hope all is well! Thanks to everyone who attended last week’s Coalition Meeting. It is exciting to see the progress we are making together and the wins that have come out of our work!
Thanks to your support, we received over 80 applications for Little Free Libraries in two weeks! The idea for the Little Libraries came from the Coalition and we are excited to announce that, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, additional communities throughout Baltimore will receive a Little Free Library. Libraries are run by community leaders and organizations throughout the city and many are stocked with books from the Maryland Book Bank (a true Coalition effort). Over the next couple of weeks, we will install six libraries and review applications to decide which communities will receive libraries in the next round. Our hope is to install between 25-50 this summer pending funding.
Through the Coalition, we have also identified numerous community partners to support our Pre-K enrollment initiative – more information about this below — and with your help, we have also begun to promote our website (www.bmorereadmore.org) as a place families and providers can come to find reading resources.
Please read on for other ways you can play a vital role in upcoming Campaign Initiatives, such as:
- Supporting our efforts to increase Pre-K enrollment at three schools this year (Dallas F. Nicholas Elementary, Gilmor Elementary and Arundel Elementary/ Middle)
- Raising awareness of the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Summer Reading Program and helping to spread the word about the importance of reading daily over the summer
- Spreading the word about a Summer Book Distribution and Resource Fair hosted on April 14th from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Maryland Book Bank, in partnership with the Family League of Baltimore
- Supporting full funding of Public School Pre-K
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any feedback or questions you may have.
Support Pre-K Enrollment
We know that children attending public Pre-K programs are more likely to be ready for Kindergarten than students who come from home or informal care, yet every year there are Pre-K slots left unfilled.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
The Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading is working in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools and B’ more for Healthy Babies to maximize the number of low-income children that register for Pre-K. The group will focus on increasing enrollment at three schools identified as being under enrolled over the last couple of years. The schools are:
- Dallas F. Nicholas Elementary
- Gilmor Elementary
- Arundel Elementary/Middle
We will work with a community organization to increase enrollment at these schools to determine best practices to inform a city wide Pre-K enrollment strategy for future years.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT
There are two ways you can support the Pre-K enrollment work:
- If you or your organization works with any of the three schools or in their neighborhoods and would like to join this effort, please email Kimberly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Help us identify a community organization to conduct a grassroots campaign to maximize the number of low-income children registered for Pre-K in the three schools. The organization will also be required to assist in documenting best practices and challenges to inform a citywide Pre-K enrollment strategy for future years. If you are interested or know an organization that would be, please contact Kimberly at email@example.com.
Raise Awareness About Pratt Summer Reading Program
We know that low income students can lose over 2 months of reading achievement over the summer.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
In order to help fight the summer slide, we are continuing our partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools and the Enoch Pratt Free Library to increase participation in the Pratt Summer Reading Program, which encourages daily reading. City Schools will once again distribute the Pratt Summer Reading log to all rising K-5th graders.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT
We need your help spreading the word about the importance of daily reading over the summer and ensuring the logs are distributed. Please sign up to notify the schools you work with about the Pratt Summer reading program and make sure the logs are distributed.
Our goal is to secure partners in at least 60% of schools to be champions for summer reading. You can use this tool that shows how many students from each school signed up for the program over the past two years and a video of best practices to start a conversation with principals.
Summer Book Distribution & Resource Fair on April 14th
Through a survey conducted by the Campaign’s Extended Learning Opportunities work group, afterschool and summer providers identified a need for leveled books to use in programs and to send home with students.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
B’More, Read More (brought to you by the Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading) is partnering with the Family League of Baltimore to host a Summer Book Distribution and Resource Fair on Thursday, April 14th from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Maryland Book Bank (501 North Calvert Street—Back Gate Entrance). Summer Program Providers will be introduced to the Maryland Book Bank and will be able to fill a tote bag with books for their program. In addition, providers will learn about resources available to them this summer, how to infuse literacy into their programming and how to choose books at the right level for their students. Refreshments will be provided. There will also be a raffle to support transportation costs!
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT
Spread the word to summer providers who you think would be interested in attending. Providers can register here. RSVPs must be made by Thursday, April 7th.
Support Full Funding of Public School Pre-K: A Message From the ACLU
Access to prekindergarten services is essential to student success. Legislators must act now to fully fund prekindergarten so that more children will have the services they need. It’s the best investment Maryland can make!
Full day pre-K is proven to better prepare children for academic success. Today, public school prekindergarten (covering children from low-income families) is only partially funded and most programs are half day. This means limited programs in school systems across the state, less classroom time for early education teachers, and potential hardship for working families who can’t pick up their children in the middle of the day.
But an important bill before the legislature this year would allow school systems across the state to fully fund their required half-day programs and offer fully funded full day pre-K. Full day programs make practical sense, and most importantly, full day pre-K is shown to have a greater academic impact.
Show your support for the bill here.
How Aiden Gets To School Everyday
Hear from Aiden and his mom, Ms. Latoya, about his morning routine and the steps he goes through to get to school ready to learn every day in this newest video from B’More, Read More (brought to you by the Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading).
As a way to stay connected, we include Coalition needs in our monthly newsletter. Please email Kimberly Manns if there is a need or announcement you would like the Coalition to know about at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Maryland Out of School Time Network is hiring a SummerREADS Coordinator. Please share the job description with your networks.
- The Literacy Lab is hiring for positions in Baltimore. Check out the job descriptions for Program Manager and K-3 Master Literacy Coach.
- Scholastic, Inc. through the Scholastic Reading Club is accepting applications to author James Patterson’s special initiative, to save school libraries. The 2016 program has been funded with a total of $1.75 million available. Applications are due May 31st.
- Enrollment for Head Start has begun. Many of the programs are aiming to have all registration interviews completed by April 29th. Help spread the word to families who have eligible children.
- Join Port Discovery for their Countdown to Kindergarten Event on April 16th. Please RSVP to Summer at email@example.com.
- The Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Maryland Family Network and The Family Tree are hosting the 1st Annual Parent and Pediatrician Conference on Tuesday, April 12th. This FREE event is an opportunity for parents to learn about their child’s development from pediatricians. Please spread the word. Learn more and RSVP here.