Flint & Genesee Literacy Network wins top national honor for reading proficiency improvement

FLINT, Michigan—The Flint & Genesee Literacy Network brought home a top national honor for its community impact and engagement — for the third year in a row. 

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading awarded the Flint & Genesee Literacy Network a Pacesetter Award in two categories. It was one of 18 organizations honored nationwide for “Achieving Bigger, Better Outcomes” and one of 15 awarded for “Building the Community Learning for Impact and Improvement Platform.”

The Flint & Genesee Literacy Network is a backbone organization supporting service providers throughout the area. It advocates for a two-generational approach to literacy that lifts children, individuals and entire families. Founded five years ago, the Flint and Genesee Literacy Network convenes partners, provides technical assistance, encourages collaboration and collects data. 

From 2016 to 2018, third-grade reading proficiency increased from 9.1 percent to 11 percent in Flint’s poorest neighborhoods, bringing it to within 1 percentage point of Flint’s overall rate. Historically, reading proficiency has been 50 percent lower in Flint's high-poverty neighborhoods. 

“We are thankful for the hard work of our many partners coming together to increase the educational attainment of Flint’s most at-risk kids. We know this is just the beginning of our work, but it is hugely rewarding to see measurable change happening in Flint neighborhoods,” said Ja’Nel Jamerson, executive director of the Flint & Genesee Literacy Network.  

Each year, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading uses its Pacesetter Honors to highlight communities that report making measurable progress on key indicators of early school success. These communities serve as proof points and represent the “leading edge” of innovation, impact and improvement within the GLR Network — which includes more than 300 communities nationwide, according to a press release. 

“Recognizing Pacesetters is our way of applauding and thanking the civic leaders, organizations and agencies that have joined forces to build brighter futures for children in their communities,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of CGLR. “We are learning with them and from them what it takes to move the needle and close the gap. Mobilized communities — like these Pacesetters — are essential to achieving early school success.”

For more information, see FlintLiteracyNetwork.org.

Read more articles by Ashley Schafer.

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