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About Read!

Read! Reading Success by 4th Grade is a community initiative with the goal of ALL of Springfield’s children reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade.

Reading Success by 4th Grade has received national attention for its work, with Springfield being named winner of the 2017 All-America City Award at the national Grade-Level Reading conference in Denver, Colorado, given to only 15 cities nationally, for its leadership role in initiating community-wide strategies that raised the level of third grade reading proficiency from 33% in 2015 to 44% in 2016.

Springfield also achieved All-America City recognition in 2012, and was named a Pacesetter Community in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

The Read! initiative was an outgrowth of the Davis Foundation-inspired Cherish Every Child initiative. The initiative was formed based on research indicating that a child who enters fourth grade unable to read proficiently is far less likely to graduate from high school and develop the skills essential to flourish in a knowledge-based economy. 

The Springfield City Library was identified as the new community-based home for the Reading Success by 4th Grade initiative in March 2019.
From the moment of their birth, young children‘s brains are developing. Science shows early experiences actually build the architecture of the developing brain; much like a house is built from the bottom up. Each sequential step lays the groundwork for the next set of skills.
The initiative to make grade-level reading proficiency by the end of third grade has resulted in a major national award program, the All-America City Award, given annually by the National Civic League. The award is focused on communities who are doing cross-sector campaigns to promote the goal of third grade reading proficiency.
Reading is the cornerstone of academic success. In fact, educators attest that until third grade, a child learns to read. After third grade a child reads to learn. Further, a child who enters fourth grade unable to read proficiently is far less likely to graduate from high school, become an effective citizen, and develop the skills essential for contributing to the 21st century economy.
The Community Solutions Action Plan is the plan for early literacy and is well into implementation throughout the City of Springfield. The plan was developed based on the Blueprint for Springfield and adopts a collective impact strategy, engaging the full community around the goal of supporting low income children from birth through third grade.
Reading Success by 4th Grade: A Blueprint for Springfield - The Blueprint contains strategies to improve children’s language and literacy development from birth to age nine in order to achieve the City’s shared goal of 80% of 3rd graders reading proficiently by 2016.