Dubuque nationally recognized for supporting early childhood success

Campaign for Grade-Level Reading gives Every Child Reads Pacesetter Honors

The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has recognized Dubuque’s Every Child Reads program with Pacesetter Honors for its 2019 work with the Trauma Informed Alliance, a local group focused on building awareness and promoting trauma-informed practices in the community. 

“We applaud the civic leaders and local funders whose time, talent, energy and imagination have fueled progress in these Pacesetter Communities,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign. 

The Campaign is a collaborative effort by funders, nonprofits, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. It focuses on promoting early school success as an important building block of more hopeful futures for children in economically challenged families and communities.

Every Child Reads, an initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque that is built on the Campaign’s principles, takes a holistic approach to children’s well-being and education. Its work is informed by the understanding that outside forces, particularly traumatic experiences, impact children’s academic performance. The partnership with the Trauma Informed Alliance has resulted in identifying local data on trauma within the community, improved partnerships with schools and other partners, legislative advocacy, and training opportunities on adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, for local Head Start staff, early childhood educators and others whose work impacts children.

“Through our collaborative partnerships with local schools, nonprofits, funders and parents, Every Child Reads has developed models that provide children with the tools they need to be successful,” said Paul Duster, director of community initiatives at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. “As we seek to prepare all children in our community for school and life, we place an added emphasis on helping families overcome barriers to their children’s achievement. As this designation shows, we’ve made progress and need to continue to mobilize our community by working together.”

Every Child Reads and its many community partners recently developed an action plan outlining future collaboration to support children and their families. The plan includes strategies to ensure that every child has access to high-quality early experiences, to prevent summer learning loss, to reduce barriers to school attendance, and to distribute free books to the children of Dubuque.

To learn more about Every Child Reads and view the plan, visit readdbq.org.