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$180,000 Grant Expands Dubuque Campaign for Grade-level Reading to Two Rural Communities

DUBUQUE, IA—The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (CFGD) recently received a $180,000 grant from an anonymous donor to expand the Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s work to two rural communities. Dyersville and Maquoketa will join eight other communities in Iowa and more than 150 communities nationwide focused on helping more children read proficiently by the end of third grade.
 
Every Child/Every Promise, a strategic initiative supported by CFGD, launched the Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in 2011 with the goal of helping children to read at grade level by the end of third grade—a key predictor of school success and high school graduation. By bringing together schools, parents, nonprofits, community leaders and funders, the Campaign works to ensure more children succeed in school and are prepared for college, a career and active citizenship.
 
“We are excited to take what we are learning in Dubuque and from the national campaign and share it in rural communities,” said Eric Dregne, CFGD vice president of strategic initiatives. “Dyersville and Maquoketa have demonstrated strong support for bringing the Campaign to their communities.”
 
The campaign focuses on three areas: school readiness, school attendance and summer learning. Recent successes include the new Summer Academy, which helped 84% of first-year participants to maintain or improve reading skills over summer break. In addition, a new career pathway beginning in high school will help more young people to become high-quality preschool and daycare providers in the future.
 
“The Grade Level Reading Campaign is another great example of how community stakeholders and partners can combine time and talents to make a huge impact in our county,” said Mary Jo Gothard, executive director of the Community Foundation of Jackson County.
 
“This grant is a great opportunity to support grade-level reading in the Dyersville Area,” said Linda Martin, principal at Dyersville Elementary School. “It’s proactive and timely as the Dyersville area has already begun taking steps toward building strong proficient readers.”

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