The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading announced today that it’s naming Newport, Rhode Island as a 2021 Bright Spot community for its responses to the COVID crisis last year.

Specifically, CLGR is highlighting communities that developed exemplary or innovative responses to the COVID crisis, including new or adaptive roles, programs, organizational relationships/collaborations, policies and/or resources. In particular, the Campaign is recognizing communities for crafting solutions that seem especially effective, replication-worthy and/or deserving of being sustained during the post-COVID period.

A collaborative effort by funders, nonprofit partners, 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, CGLR focuses on promoting early school success as an important building block of more hopeful futures for children in economically challenged families and communities.

Colleen Burns Jermain, Ed.D., Superintendent of Newport Public Schools remarked “The Newport Public Schools District is very lucky to have such a great staff and community that is there to help support our students and families. We are very proud to be part of such a dedicated team of teachers, staff, food providers, technicians, and volunteers. We want to thank everyone for this recognition. It takes a village- and all of us in Newport to make it happen.”

Newport’s Learn to Read by 3G Coalition, which Rhode Island KIDS COUNT helped to develop and guide, is seeing improvements in key areas. More Newport child care centers and family child care homes are rated high quality. More Newport children are receiving comprehensive developmental screenings and attending a high-quality early learning program before entering kindergarten. Key strategies are in place to increase communication and collaboration between community-based early learning providers and Newport Public Schools. Summer learning providers are implementing new strategies to measure and improve program outcomes, including hiring more Newport teachers to staff these programs, targeting MLLs, students with special needs, and other students who are behind in reading, and providing intensive, personalized support with the help of teachers certified in English Language Learning and/or special education.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that students, families, communities, and schools, are mutually interdependent. The strength of the community partnerships in Newport has helped students and families receive crucial services and supports including assistance with academics, accessing technology, and addressing food insecurity for families. The commitment of Newport schools and organizations to work collaboratively as a coalition before the pandemic has allowed this dedicated group to adjust and rely on each other during this crisis.

About the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Launched in 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. Since its launch, CGLR has grown to include more than 300 communities, representing 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and two provinces in Canada — with 5,000+ local organizations and 510 state and local funders (including 200+ United Ways). To learn more, visit and follow the movement on Twitter @readingby3rd.

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