The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are teaming up to boost the reading skills of children who live in public housing.
“Housing is a critical platform for a child’s success and nearly four million low-income children are living in HUD-assisted housing,” according to a HUD press release.
A Memorandum of Understanding between HUD and CGLR will “highlight the work being done in up to 25 Public Housing Agencies” to “improve educational outcomes for children…” In addition, HUD will encourage other housing authorities to join this effort.
“Empowering our children with the basic skills they need to become successful helps them to reach their full potential,” HUD Secretary Julián Castro said in the press release. “There’s no more important mission than to use housing as a platform for success, and we need to make certain that our residents, particularly their children, have every opportunity that education can provide.”
Ralph Smith, CGLR’s managing director, adds, “For children in low-income families, the stakes are even higher and the challenges much greater. By embracing grade-level reading as an important goal, HUD and Public Housing Authorities are betting that low-income families can break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.”
The announcement is also welcome news for local housing authority administrators, including Steven A. Beauregard, executive director of the New Bedford Housing Authority, who said, “I was very pleased to learn of the partnership between HUD and the Campaign. For over a year now, the New Bedford Housing Authority has been working collaboratively in a city-wide initiative to have all sectors and organizations support young children and their learning. Our after-school and parental engagement programs have been a complete success, and there are many more ways that housing authorities can partner with schools and other organizations to sustain this effort.”