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United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra 
Receives Prestigious National Award



The National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) has recognized United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra (UWNNS) with the 2018 Grade-Level Reading Pacesetter Honor for its ongoing support of early school success. UWNNS is one out of 32 communities across the nation and the only organization in Nevada recognized with the 2018 Grade-Level Reading Pacesetter Honor.

With this Pacesetters Honor, UWNNS and their Northern Nevada Grade-Level Reading Coalition are recognized for demonstrating population-level progress in key progress indicators for low-income children — school readiness, school attendance, summer learning and/or grade-level proficiency in K-3 reading and/or math.

“Recognizing Pacesetters is our way of applauding and thanking the civic leaders, organizations and agencies that have joined forces to build brighter futures for children in their communities,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of CGLR. “We are learning with them and from them what it takes to move the needle and close the gap. Mobilized communities — like these Pacesetters — are essential to ensuring school success.”

According to national reading assessment data, two out of three U.S. fourth graders are not proficient readers. Research suggests that reading by third grade is a critical milestone that will serve as a strong foundation for ongoing academic and learning success. A study found that students who don’t have reading proficiency by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. The UWNNS Northern Nevada Grade-Level Reading Coalition has prioritized early childhood education and has created literacy programs for young children with the goal to have northern Nevada children reading well by third grade.

Their continued engagement with parents in all 13 regions through various programs provides children early literacy skills such as vocabulary, knowledge of the alphabet and interest in stories. The coalition strives to increase student interest in literacy-focused out-of-school activities by providing them with books, reading materials and library cards. Attendance is also a key factor in a child’s education. UWNNS created the Be There Campaign, which focuses on keeping children in school and lowering absences.

“The Pacesetter recognition is a testament to our commitment to our kids, our community and our focus on learning,” said Michael Brazier, president and CEO, UWNNS. “Topping the prestigious list means that we are leading the way to improve educational progress in northern Nevada.”

Each year, CGLR uses Pacesetter Honors to highlight communities that report making measurable progress on key indicators for early school success. These communities serve as proof points and represent the “leading edge” of innovation, impact and improvement within the CGLR Network, currently comprised of more than 300 communities, representing 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Alberta, Canada.

About United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra

UWNNS has successfully served northern Nevada for over 76 years by bringing people together to give, advocate, and volunteer. UWNNS believes that when the community comes together and puts our resources to work, we can solve our most pressing issues and create opportunities for a better life for all. For more information, call 775-322-8668 or visit www.uwnns.org. Connect with us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UWNNS/), Twitter (twitter.com/uwnns) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/uwnns/).

About the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading seeks to disrupt generational poverty by mobilizing communities to promote early school success for those children currently on the high-risk side of the achievement gap. To date, our efforts have helped to spark a “grassroots to governors” movement for ensuring early school success, advancing grade-level reading and reducing chronic absence as important policy priorities. More than 4,100 organizations have formed “big tent” sponsoring coalitions in 300+ communities across 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Alberta, Canada. To learn more, visit gradelevelreading.net.

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