SARASOTA, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2016) – The Patterson Foundation announced today it is providing an additional $250,000 in catalytic funding to support the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a national movement to increase reading proficiency among children in low-income families.
Since 2010, The Patterson Foundation has contributed $750,000 to strengthen the efforts of the GLR Campaign, providing strategy and capacity-building support as an enterprise funder. This latest contribution will benefit the national network of communities moving the needle to improve early literacy, which is an indicator of long-term academic and life success for children from low-income families. The GLR Campaign includes more than 285 communities, representing 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands fueled by 2,300 local organizations (including 130 United Ways and more than 250 state and local funders).
“With 80 percent of third graders from low-income homes unable to read proficiently, strengthening early literacy means we are addressing one of the most critical issues of our time,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a movement with the leadership, strategies and network to increase childhood literacy by 2020, and it’s going to take support from a network of committed funders to help make that happen.”
The GLR Campaign works with communities to mobilize a broad base of stakeholders to improve school readiness, kindergarten through third-grade attendance and summer learning opportunities for children from low-income families. It also emphasizes strategies to help parents serve as their children’s first teachers while connecting families with health resources to reduce societal challenges associated with reading on grade-level.
“We are grateful to The Patterson Foundation for its continued commitment to helping us sustain a focus across the nation on grade-level reading from now through 2020 and beyond,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “The Patterson Foundation has been a valued partner, a provider of technical assistance and support, an executive coach and an exemplar of philanthropic engagement at the local, regional, state and national levels. The GLR Campaign is a stronger catalytic force and more effective backbone organization because of this multilayered support.”
GLR Campaign communities are serving as proof points for improving school readiness, attendance, summer learning and reading proficiency in early grades. To date, The Patterson Foundation’s support has helped the GLR Campaign’s communities stay connected to each other through a digital platform of more than 1,500 community leaders that enables real-time learning and sharing of promising practices.
Beyond this gift, The Patterson Foundation is engaged in ongoing GLR Campaign efforts in its home state of Florida – including work with the Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign, which guides the work of 16 communities statewide committed to the GLR Campaign’s goals, and the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which encompasses Manatee and Sarasota counties.
About The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations and communities. The Foundation focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve. For more information, please visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org and connect with @ThePattersonFdn on Twitter.
About the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Launched in May 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and more than 285 communities across the nation to ensure more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. By 2020, the GLR Campaign aims to increase by at least 100 percent the number of children from low-income families reading proficiently at the end of third grade in a dozen or more states. Visit gradelevelreading.net and follow the movement on Twitter @readingby3rd.