The city of Phoenix has just been named as one of 38 communities across the nation to receive the “Pacesetter Award.” This is for leading by example to solve the challenges that can undermine early literacy. That includes school readiness, school attendance, summer learning and grade-level learning.
“The Pacesetter honor shows that our efforts to bring the entire community together to help our children learn to read – from families to schools, to businesses and government – are working,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “It is also a call to renewed action. Ensuring a solid reading foundation is not just our duty and moral obligation, Phoenix’s economic future depends on the ability of today’s children to read.”
To celebrate this award, Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor read to a 2nd grade class at Balsz Elementary School. Read On Phoenix joins Read On Balsz, Read On Riverside and Read on Roosevelt as among this year’s nominees.
“Read On Phoenix has brought together parents, businesses and community members to help our youngest kids become readers who are ready to learn,” said Councilwoman Laura Pastor. “Using our libraries and other city programs, this shows what an impact we can have on school readiness and student achievement.”
Read On Arizona and local communities mobilize community partners from schools, municipalities, nonprofits, businesses and parents, among others to improve third-grade reading among local youth.
“This recognition highlights the tremendous efforts by the city of Phoenix and its partners to focus on summer reading, school readiness, and third-grade reading through programs such as volunteer tutoring, summer meals tied to summer reading, and school readiness strategies that help ensure early grade success outcomes for the children of Phoenix,” said Arizona Literacy Director Terri Clark. “These Phoenix Read On communities showcase how the power of successful collaboration, driven by data and effective strategies, provides solutions for one our city’s most pressing issues— third-grade reading proficiency.”
As a special treat for being so well behaved, the students at the book reading each received a book from Valley of the Sun United Way. “I’m extremely proud to work with our Read On communities,” said Dawn Gerundo, Director of Education for Valley of the Sun United Way. “By working together, children who are reading at grade-level by the end of third grade will be college and career ready and help strengthen our community for years to come.”