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MARCH 2021

From the Director

A year has passed since the pandemic upended our lives. It has been a year of challenges—but also a time of innovation and creativity as individuals and communities across the state found ways to boost the well-being and success of children and families.

Partners like Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) and the Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy are leveraging technology to continue communicating with state legislators and deliver professional development to educators. Many partners are finding that virtual events are increasing access and engagement by removing travel time and costs.

Share your stories of creative responses to the challenges we’ve faced and how you’re helping us continue to Get Georgia Reading.

With gratitude,
Arianne

#GetGAReading this Month

Please share these posts on your own social media platforms this month.

When the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic a year ago, there were only 6 confirmed cases in Georgia. Since then, more than 830,000 people have been infected. Now, the same field hospitals that separated families to contain the outbreak are reuniting families through vaccine distribution. Our getgeorgiareading.org/coronavirus page aims to ensure that communities stay safe, healthy, and connected. http://bit.ly/38L3YXm

The getgeorgiareading.org/coronavirus page aims to ensure that our communities stay safe, healthy, and connected. Visit the page to get the full list of updates and resources including information about vaccines in Georgia. http://bit.ly/38L3YXm

YOUR STORIES

Strolling Thunder Goes Virtual

GEEARS hosted Georgia’s fourth annual Strolling Thunder in partnership with ZERO TO THREE. The virtual event brought together infants, toddlers, and families to urge policymakers to make the needs of Georgia’s youngest learners a statewide priority. After advocacy training sessions, families came together to share stories and write letters to their representatives. Watch the highlights.

One Door Polk Promotes Access to Social Services

One Door Polk in Cedartown serves as a social services hub offering mental health, health care, and social services with 14 agencies all under one roof. While many agencies are working from home during the pandemic, Polk County Family Connection and its partners are working to create a website and centralized phone line to make navigating social services easier. One Door Polk is the first facility of its kind in the state.

Georgia to Vaccinate All School Employees

Classroom teachers and school staff, including pre-K and child care program staff, were added to the list of groups now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in Georgia. Georgia educators became eligible for vaccines on March 8 along with parents of children with complex medical conditions with additional mass-vaccination sites opening to better accommodate demand. Georgia opened five additional mass-vaccination sites on March 17.

One Year Into Pandemic, Fewer Young Students on Track to Learn How to Read

New data from Amplify finds that 20% fewer kindergartners are on track to learn how to read than their peers were at this time last year. The gaps are especially pronounced for black and Hispanic students. Doubling down on grade-level material was identified as a strategy for boosting student learning and closing the gaps. Additional literacy instruction could also help.
RESOURCES
Visit getgeorgiareading.org/coronavirus for a list of timely resources.
 

Virtual Professional Learning Monthly Series

The Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy at Georgia College is hosting 10 virtual training sessions on the science of reading featuring experts who aim to help increase understanding of how the brain learns to read and provide practical application tips for helping young readers. Recordings of the first four trainings are available online.
 

Rising Together: How Four Districts are Building Community During COVID-19

Community, collaboration, and relationships have become more important than ever during the pandemic. The New Teacher Project shares insights and lessons from its work with four school districts that took steps to engage family and community as authentic partners in student learning.
 

Summer Learning Recruitment Guide

Voluntary summer learning programs that offer a mix of academics and fun enrichment activities can help address learning disparities. A new guide from The Wallace Foundation describes how to launch a summer learning recruitment effort and outlines eight keys to success for summer learning recruitment.
WHAT'S HAPPENING
GLR Learning Tuesdays Webinars
March 23 and 30; April 6, 13, 20, and 27; 3 p.m.
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s (GLR) series of online learning events for the GLR Network helps lift up the best science, ideas, and programs to inform local efforts. The March 23 session is called “Ed Tech and Accelerated Learning: The Future is Now.” Register Now

Crucible of Practice Salon
April 13, 12:30 p.m.
This GLR webinar series provides a deep-dive exploration of how community coalitions are approaching and moving the work to improve the early school success prospects of children from economically challenged families, neighborhoods, and communities. Register Now

Funder to Funder Conversations
April 20 and May 18, 12:30 p.m.
This webinar series engages and informs the local, state, and national funders who support early learning, grade-level reading, and early school success, providing opportunities for shared learning, collaboration, and co-investment between and among local funders and with their national counterparts. Register Now

We Want to Hear from You

Our partners are the heroes in this work. We want to help connect you to each other and to resources that can help you get even greater results. Please share your stories with us so we can post them to getgeorgiareading.org. Send your stories—or any questions about the Campaign—to Arianne Weldon at arianne@gafcp.org.
 
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