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Posts Tagged ‘#413Reads’

Sally Fuller

Contrary to what you may have heard, Sally Fuller has not completely retired.

Strategies for Children is excited to announce that Fuller, a long-time colleague and friend, has joined our board.

“I have such tremendous respect for what Strategies has done and continues to do,” Fuller told us recently.

As we’ve blogged before, Fuller worked for the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, where she started in 2005 as the project direct for Cherish Every Child, the foundation’s early childhood initiative.

“The Davis family cares deeply about education. That’s their overarching commitment,” Fuller explains. “They knew Margaret Blood,” the founder of Strategies for Children, “and they brought Margaret to Springfield to work with them.”

The Davis Foundation came to sum up its intentions in a single question, Fuller says: “How can we work together to put children at the center of the community’s agenda?”

“That’s how the Cherish Every Child initiative was started at the foundation, and they needed someone to work full time, so that’s why I went there.”

Fuller, the foundation, and community partners across Springfield worked on expanding early education opportunities and on ensuring that more of the city’s children could read proficiently by the third grade.

“We know from a childhood development standpoint how critical that was,” Fuller says of herself and John Davis (a senior director at the foundation), who had looked at the data and seen that only one third of Springfield’s children could read at grade level by the end of third grade. “We started to do this before it became fashionable. The National Campaign for Grade Level Reading started a year after we did. So, I can very honestly say that we were building the plane as we were flying it.” (more…)

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Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Want to spread early literacy? Send in a parent. Moms and dads who talk, sing, and read out loud can fill their children’s worlds with engaging, enriching language.

But the challenge for Springfield, Mass., and other cities is figuring out how to reach parents and engage them in sharing a love of language and learning with their children.

To find good ideas on family engagement, the Reading Success by 4th Grade initiative (RS4G), which is backed by The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, did a simple thing: It asked parents.

“Focus groups of parents, and largely moms who participated in one of our three sessions, revealed what we knew: that parents have clearly moved into the digital age,” Sally Fuller writes in a blog post on the Davis Foundation’s Read by Fourth Grade website. “Email, for anyone who has children, is almost recognized as a thing of the past. Moms told us almost universally that their primary engagement with the world comes through social media and texting. The smartphone serves as the communications tool of choice.” (more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

For the fourth year in a row, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) has honored communities for being “Pacesetters” that promote early literacy among children from low-income families.

Thirty-eight communities earned this honor, including Springfield, Mass.

A CGLR press release explains that these communities lead by example as they “solve one or more of the challenges that can undermine early literacy – school readiness, school attendance and summer learning.”

“Pacesetters are part of a nationwide network of more than 240 Campaign communities, representing 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with 2,100 local organizations (including 130 United Ways and 250 state and local funders). The Campaign communities are dedicated to narrowing the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers.”

Ralph Smith, CGLR’s managing director, adds, “We are very proud of these communities and the numerous organizations and individuals behind them for joining forces and working tirelessly to uplift children and families. They remind us that we are seeing great progress and real results all across the country.” (more…)

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