The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque launched the Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in 2012, answering a call to action by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. In 2014, the Foundation received an anonymous donor grant to expand the Dubuque Campaign into two rural communities—Dyersville and Jackson County.

The Campaign brings focus to a key predictor of school success and high school graduation: grade-level reading by the end of third grade. Reading proficiency by the end of third grade enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn. Studies show that 74% of students who fall behind in reading proficiency at the end of third grade do not graduate from high school, and that children from low-income households are disproportionately affected.

Each Campaign community recognizes that schools alone cannot succeed in achieving these goals. In order to make progress, the Campaigns create collaboration among funders, nonprofit partners, schools and parents to help ensure that more low-income children succeed in school and are prepared for college, a career and active citizenship.

The Campaign works collaboratively in each community to make an impact in three areas: