The Children’s Trust investors and members from the business and education sectors gathered on April 26 for an investor update and to learn about the Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Keynote speaker Ralph Smith, senior vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and managing director of the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, discussed the pressing need for the entire community to support early learning and 3rd grade reading achievement in particular with a focus on three areas: School Readiness, School Attendance and Summer Learning.
Smith noted that global competition for human talent and innovation, long-standing educational achievement gaps, low high school graduation rates and the pending retirement of 77 million baby boomers have placed tremendous workforce pressures on American business. These pressures, if not checked, will jeopardize our national economic security and the viability of the American dream.
Smith also recognized Dubuque as a PaceSetter–a community that is “leading by example” to solve one or more of the challenges that can undermine early literacy.
The Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is supported by Every Child/Every Promise and a coalition of local partners from the nonprofit, education, public and private sectors. Every Child/Every Promise is in strategic alliance with the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.