The Omaha metro has taken a major step toward improving student success by joining the nationwide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR), a collaborative effort to improve reading proficiency and early school success for all children.

The kickoff for the campaign will take place Friday, Aug. 30, at 9 a.m., at the Thompson Alumni Center on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus.

The Omaha metro campaign is supported by the Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium (MOEC), The Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties and United Way of the Midlands.

The campaign’s action plan addresses three underlying challenges that can keep young children from learning to read proficiently — school readiness, school attendance and summer learning.

“The metro Omaha area has many organizations responding to the needs of young children and working to increase the likelihood of success,” said Martha Bruckner, MOEC executive director. “Having our community join the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading provides an impetus to identify and partner with those organizations in a way to magnify the results.”

Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a critical milestone toward high school graduation and success later in life because it marks the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Students who aren’t reading on grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school and six times more likely if they have lived in poverty for a year.

Reading proficiency ranges from 34 percent to 85 percent in Douglas County and Sarpy County schools, and 53 percent of Nebraska third-grade students are proficient in reading. Membership in the GLR Network gives Omaha access to experts and policymakers focused on early school success; assistance in addressing the challenges that keep many children from learning to read; and access to the online Community Learning for Impact & Improvement Platform (CLIP), which is designed to lower the barriers and costs associated with spreading information about what’s working, why and under what conditions.

About United Way of the Midlands United Way of the Midlands (UWM) has served the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro for more than 95 years. Guided by best practices and community input, it approaches poverty in a specific way – a “united” way. With the support of volunteers, community partners and donors, UWM invests 92 cents of every donated dollar in our local community. These dollars fund 110 nonprofit programs that create a circle of support for people in need. When our neighbors have access to basic needs, education and financial stability supports, they can start down the path to independence and success. Please visit unitedwaymidlands.org for more information.

About the Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium

The Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium is a collaborative organization dedicated to public education and bringing Omaha-area educators together to ensure that all students in our community receive an exceptional education.

About the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties

The Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties is an educational subdivision focused on outcomes and opportunities for children and families. It achieves impact through a collaborative network of metropolitan area school districts and community organizations. Independent evaluations demonstrate consistently strong results in early childhood education and family engagement.

Recognized nationally for advancing a two-generation approach, the Learning Community creates opportunities to address the needs of children and families together. A 12-member Coordinating Council, elected by the public, guides policies which challenge the opportunity gap and strengthen our communities. Visit: LearningCommunityDS.org

 

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