Every Child Reads is a collaborative effort among parents, educators, nonprofits and civic leaders in the Dubuque region to ensure that all children succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship.

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque launched the initiative in 2012, answering a call to action by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Thanks to a grant from an anonymous donor, the Community Foundation expanded the initiative in 2014 into two rural Northeast Iowa communities: Dyersville and Jackson County.

Our work is aligned with the “five promises” of Every Child/Every Promise, a nationally recognized collective impact approach to ensuring all young people succeed: caring adults, safe places, healthy start, effective education and opportunities to serve.

We focus on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation: reading proficiency by the end of third grade. Reaching this milestone enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn. We work collaboratively in each community to make an impact in three areas:

Our work is informed by an understanding of how early childhood adversity affects learning. As we seek to prepare all children in our community for school and life, we place an added emphasis on those who are most vulnerable, helping them and their families overcome barriers to their achievement.