The GLR Campaign recognizes Fresno, California, as a 2016 Pacesetter for its strong cross-sector collaboration, use of data and work with families in public housing.
Data-sharing agreements between school districts and the Fresno Housing Authority (FHA) and the emergence of an Early Warning and Response System — developed by the Fresno Unified School District and recently adapted for the early grades by Fresno Area Strive/Fresno Compact — are helping assure more low-income children will get the early interventions and supports they need to start school ready to learn, attend school regularly, maintain academic gains over the summer months and read proficiently by the end of third grade. The Early Warning and Response System already has allowed Fresno Unified School District to do a “deep dive” on the data and discover chronic absence as a major driver of lack of reading success in the early grades, prompting roll out of text-messaging platforms and other outreach strategies to parents and caregivers. In addition, the data-sharing agreement between FHA and Fresno Unified is tracking K–3 students living in public housing to assure school readiness through parent engagement, vision screenings and outreach to special populations such as the Hmong community.
FHA also has partnered with the local public library system to integrate summer learning opportunities and enrichment programs into public housing sites.
“Recognizing the Pacesetters is our way of applauding the civic leaders, organizations and agencies that have joined forces to build brighter futures for the children in their communities,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “We are learning with them and from them what it takes to move the needle and close the gap.”
The Children's Summit 2013 was The Children's Movement's first move toward helping to unify hundreds of diverse stakeholders who work for the welfare of the children of Fresno County. In an effort to align the actions and resources of these individuals and their businesses, agencies and nonprofits, Grade-Level Reading was chosen as the core focus of this collaborative work.
Based on the principles of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, the Fresno Grade-Level Reading Coalition was formed in 2014. Due to this important collaborative work, Fresno was named a national Pacesetter community by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
Guided by The Children's Movement of Fresno and the methods of the Stanford d.school's Design Cycle and continuous improvement technical assistance from Strive Together, the Coalition continues its collaborative work through on-going research and monthly Action Forums.
About Fresno Grade-Level Reading Coalition
The Fresno Grade-Level Reading Coalition includes community based organizations, schools, local government, businesses and churches throughout Fresno County, who are committed to applying their resources to improving our outcomes for third grade-level reading.