June 2019

Dear Grade Level Reading Coalition:

We hope everyone is enjoying June so far! We have a lot of exciting projects happening over the next couple of months including debuting our recent videos, testing out new marketing materials, and gearing up for summer.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Grade Level Reading Coalition Meeting last month. We always appreciate the insight and the great perspective you bring. We will be convening in late summer/early fall. Please stay tuned for an invite.

Angelique Jessup
Program Director
Baltimore Campaign for Grade Level Reading  

1st grade Work Update

Enoch Pratt Partnership– All of the 1st graders at our six focus schools visited their local library branches in May. The field trips provide an introduction for students to learn about fun things they can do at the library in order to further spark their use of library resources and programs. They all received library card applications prior to the field trip.

Social media- We are increasing our social media presence to directly reach families in Baltimore to share relevant resources, events, and information about children’s literacy. Please send us anything you would want to share with families so we can post to our social media. Facebook: B’more Read More, Instagram: @bmorereadmore, Twitter: @bmorereadmore

New Videos: Keep Kids Reading this Summer

Summer break should not mean a break from reading! We have created new videos to guide parents in supporting children’s literacy education over the summer.

With content developed by educators, the Wide Angle Youth Media produced videos provide best-practice-based techniques to build reading skills over the summer. Spread the word and find the videos here plus resources to support reading education here.

Little Free Library Meeting

We hosted a meeting on Monday, June 17th for Little Free Library leaders and volunteer ambassadors. We gave an update on our current work, shared information related to their Little Free Libraries, and discussed ways that we can continue to support them. Over the past year, over 8,000 books have been distributed through the Little Free Libraries. Coalition Meeting Highlights

Coalition Meeting Highlights

Plain Language Presentation: Cynthia Campbell

Cynthia Campbell presented on her work with Plain Language. We have been working with Cynthia to ensure that all of our outward facing materials are accessable to families. “Plain Langugage is the practice of using certain good communication principals to make sure information is more clear to people who are not specialists in your field.” Cynthia presented examples of how to change your communication so that you can successfully inform and educate families and other stakeholders. Cynthia also shared why she believes Plain Language is an equity issue. You can see her blog about this here.​​​Here are some resources about Plain Language:

Coalition Sharing: Group Activity

Our last Coalition meeting included an activity designed to take a moment and better understand the interconnectedness of our work. We asked those in attendance to answer the following question, “What is your organization grappling with to improve literacy for kids in Baltimore?” Answers were shared with the group. Here are themes that developed from the answers:

  • Libraries and children: getting more children and families into the libraries and connecting schools with libraries.
  • Family Engagement: getting parents to connect more with their children in general and around reading.
  • How to get more diverse books into school/classroom libraries.
  • Providing more school-based support for teachers after completing their residency program.
  • Marketing services and programs to the community.
  • Recruiting and retaining high quality tutors.
  • Effectively Engaging English Lanuguage Learners.
  • Connecting State or district policy with classroom practice.

Coalition members requested that we share these answers to foster networking and collaboration. We plan to gather and share via a google document so all members can view and access the information. We also plan to make this a living document so that everyone can stay abreast of literacy work across the city. Please look forward to a google document invitation soon!

 Coalition Announcements

  • The Coalition for Adult Basic Education will have their national conference in Baltimore City in Apil 2020. If you want to be on the e-mail list for recieving updates, please contact Cynthia Campbell at cmcampbell@goldappleservices.com. 

  • The Enoch Pratt Library is hosting their annual Summer Challenge. Children can read throughout the summer to earn prizes. Families can sign up at any Pratt library or online. The Challenge ends on August 14th. 

  •  The  13th Annual Adolescent Resouce Fair will be taking place tomorrow at the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center from 9am-2:30pm. There will be resources, entertainment, and free food for youth and families.

  • Baltimore City Public Schools is hosting a Free Family Fun Night with the CEO at Shake & Bake on Monday, July 15th from 5:30pm-8pm. Registration is required; please look out for a registration link soon. 

To learn more, email: ruthf@ffee.org or call: 410-864-0410