Together Bristol TN/VA community partners provide children with the supports they need to be successful with learning to read so that they will be ready to read to learn in third grade. Twin City Reads shares the ideals and goals of “The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading” (CGRL).
The components of success in reading to learn include attention to the gaps; school attendance, quality prenatal and pre-school experience, and attention to the ‘summer slide’, the time when children are out of school.
These gaps are addressed through many community agencies in addition to our schools. Of first and most importance are parents and caregivers—focusing on parent/child engagement, parenting for success, parents as first teacher, and building strong brains, are some of the ways we help children succeed.
Four organizations come together to lead this initiative of reading on grade level; the United Way of Bristol TN/VA, Bristol’s Promise: Youth Networking Alliance, Reading Buddies Bristol TN/VA and the Bristol Public Library. A collective impact approach includes all those organizations providing tools to parents, caregivers and children to achieve success in reading.
Why do we need a group like Twin City Reads?
Twin City Reads is about “Collective Impact.” This method is a proven approach to solve complex social problems. It focuses on different organizations coming together to focus on a common goal (i.e. grade-level reading), using agreed data and progress measurements in order to identify ways to work together, to encourage consistent communication, and to dedicate distinctive skills and resources to tackle the issue.
Who are the organizations leading Twin City Reads?
The current steering committee for Twin City Reads consists of representatives from the United Way of Bristol TN/VA, Bristol Public Library, Bristol’s Promise: Youth Networking Alliance, Reading Buddies TN/VA, and several community leaders.
What schools are included in the initial effort?
Bristol Virginia Public Schools: Highlands View Elementary – Joseph Van Pelt Elementary – Stonewall Jackson Elementary – Washington-Lee Elementary
Bristol Tennessee Public Schools: Anderson Elementary – Avoca Elementary – Fairmount Elementary – Haynesfield Elementary – Holston View Elementary
Is this effort just focused on low income students?
No. This initiative is to measure and help all students to read at least at grade-level by the third grade. It is noted however that low income students statistically have the greatest challenge in meeting this goal and will need the most help.
What is the funding mechanism for this effort?
We propose to write local, regional and national grants, and seek any available state and federal program funding. We also expect to have significant citizen involvement and donations.
Thank you Star City Reads (starcityreads.org) of Roanoke Virginia for your inspiring approach to combating the issue of grade-level reading in your community. We continue to learn so much from what you have started.