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FEBRUARY 2021

From the Director

More than 100 communities across Georgia have launched local efforts to ensure that all children experience the conditions necessary to achieve third-grade reading proficiency. Each community tailors strategies that leverage local assets and addresses local challenges so that all children reach this critical early milestone.

Opportunities and challenges sometimes extend across county lines. Learn4Life is a regional Get Georgia Reading Campaign community that engages school district leaders and communities, businesses, and nonprofits in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties and the cities of Atlanta, Decatur, and Marietta. Learn4Life works to advance educational outcomes from cradle to career by identifying and scaling Brights Spots
—strategies and programs that are showing uncommon success.

Were excited that Learn4Life Executive Director Kenneth Zeff has joined our Cabinet, adding his voice and perspective to other local and state leaders working to promote application of the Campaign’s four-pillar framework.

With gratitude,
Arianne

#GetGAReading this Month

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

Its time to sharpen those pencils and get creative! The GPB Education 2021 PBS KIDS Writers Contest is open to Georgia students in K – 3. The deadline to enter is April 30. Learn more: http://bit.ly/3qGBQey

Ready, set, write! Georgia students in K – 3 can submit an original story with illustrations for the @GPBEducation 2021 PBS KIDS Writers Contest. The deadline to enter is April 30. http://bit.ly/3qGBQey

YOUR STORIES

Learn4Life Identifies Bright Spots in Metro Atlanta

Learn4Life’s Early Literacy Network and Leadership Council has identified two Bright Spots. ArtsNow teaches educators how to integrate the arts into core content instruction to boost engagement, and Social Emotional Engagement—Knowledge and Skills (SEE-KS) helps educators implement a relationship-oriented framework to ensure students are engaged in learning. Learn from these and other Bright Spots.

GPB Announces Writers Contest for K – 3 Students

Georgia Public Broadcasting invites all K – 3 students in Georgia to create a great story, illustrate it, and enter it in the PBS KIDS Writers Contest. The contest is supported by a robust set of resources for children, families, and teachers, including activity sheets and checklists to inspire children during the brainstorming process. Check out the rules and entry form.

Growing Readers Boosts Reading Instruction Skills

Growing Readers has 38 Certified Growing Readers specialists working with 85 schools in all 16 Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs). A report from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement shows that RESAs are successfully collaborating and delivering consistent, effective professional learning in K – 3 literacy instruction to teachers and candidates. Teachers are changing reading instructional practices to incorporate new strategies.

Engaging Youth When They’re Out of School

A report released by the Afterschool Alliance indicates that 18% of Georgia’s school-aged children participate in after-school programs. For every child who is in a program, two more are waiting to get in because of cost, lack of transportation and availability, and other barriers. More than 238,000 children in the U.S. are alone and unsupervised between 3 and 6 p.m. during weekdays. Georgia communities are taking action to address these barriers.

COVID-19: The Intersection of Education and Health

Since March 2020, more than 1.5 billion students worldwide have been affected by school or university closures. In addition to the loss of learning, a lack of access to school means that many children lose protection from hazards such as domestic violence and child abuse, others lose access to the only nutritious meal of their day, and many will miss immunizations that are often given at school. These disruptions to education will adversely affect health.
RESOURCES
Visit getgeorgiareading.org/coronavirus for a list of timely resources.
 

Community Impact Grant Opportunities for Community-Based Organizations

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) announced three separate Community Impact Grant opportunities for community-based organizations across Georgia. Funding will allow organizations to pilot and implement family-focused programs that promote economic security, support trauma-responsive care, and respond to local needs.
 

Longitudinal Study of Georgia Pre-K Program

As former Georgia pre-K students entered third grade, they had literacy skills that were moderately higher and executive function skills that were somewhat higher than children who did not attend any pre-K program, according to a new study. The results underscore the importance of foundational literacy skills that are a focus of pre-K.
 

Georgia’s Early Care and Education Landscape

Georgia’s young children are educated and cared for in a variety of programs and settings: child care centers, family child care homes, relative-provided care, nannies, and babysitters. The Early Care and Education Landscape, developed by Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), succinctly describes these types of care, local, state, and federal initiatives that support early learning programs and the state agency that promotes quality programming.
WHAT'S HAPPENING
GLR Learning Tuesdays Webinars
Feb. 23 and March 2, 9, 16, 23, and 31; 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. Upcoming sessions are about addressing learning loss and the role of community schools in accelerating learning. Register Now

“Building a Community of Readers” Crucible of Practice Salon
March 9, 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
March 16, 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, and we want to help connect you to each other and to resources that can help you get even greater results. And we want to hear more stories. Please share yours with us so we can post it to getgeorgiareading.org. Send your stories—or any questions about the Campaign—to Arianne Weldon at arianne@gafcp.org.
 
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