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City of Phoenix Honored as a Pacesetter for Early Literacy WorkCity of Phoenix Honored as a Pacesetter for Early Literacy Work<div class="ExternalClassACEDECD921EB4CB09A18B96BD01015CB"><p>The city of Phoenix is being honored as a Pacesetter by the Grade-Level Reading (GLR) campaign for its exemplary work in eliminating barriers faced by low-income family children on their path to becoming proficient readers.</p><p>"The future of our city and our economy is directly tied to the success of these children," said Mayor Greg Stanton. "We have a duty and a moral obligation to do all we can as a city and as a community to make sure our children learn how to read." </p><p>The Read On Phoenix initiative was recognized in the following areas:</p><ul><li>Identifying most proven and promising literacy strategies, programs and practices.</li><li>Supporting parent success and addressing the health determinants of early school success.</li><li>Driving with data to establish baselines, set targets, track progress and ensure shared accountability.</li><li>Building cross-sector collaboration, community-wide mobilization and a coalition of local funders committed to achieving the result.</li><li>Prioritizing children and families in public housing and reaching those children who are especially vulnerable. </li><li>Utilizing technology to expand reach, mobilize constituencies and improve service delivery.</li></ul><p>"This recognition shows the commitment that the city of Phoenix has in creating lasting partnerships to address critical learning gaps among our most vulnerable youth and see to it that they succeed," said Vice Mayor Laura Pastor, District 4.  "Through our efforts, we can truly be a shining example of how to move the needle and increase access to the best education and jobs possible, and a brighter future for everyone."</p><p>Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a critical milestone toward high school graduation and career success because it marks the transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn." National tests show that two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders (four-fifths of whom are from low-income families) are not reading proficiently. Students who have not mastered reading by that time are more likely to drop out of high school and struggle throughout their lives.</p><p>"Pacesetter Honors are among the highest awards presented by the GLR campaign," said Ralph Smith, managing director, GLR campaign. "We are very proud of the city of Phoenix and the numerous organizations and individuals behind the community 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."</p><p>Read On Phoenix partners closely with Valley of the Sun United Way, Thriving Together, First Things First, Southwest Human Development, Phoenix schools, and other community stakeholders to ensure Phoenix children have resources necessary to read at or above grade level by the end of third grade.</p></div>3/29/2017 9:00:00 PMAlejandro Montiel602-534-3443