NLC is serving as a major partner in the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading by supporting city efforts to boost reading proficiency as part of the National Civic League’s 2012 All-America City Grade-Level Reading Awards competition. The 2012 All-America City Awards competition challenges communities to develop plans for increasing the number of low-income children who read at grade level by the end of third grade – a key indicator of future academic success.
The YEF Insititute has launched a new initiative to help cities better align local early care and education programs with their public school systems. The goal of the initiative is to increase the likelihood that children will be poised for educational success by the time they reach the third grade. Through the Educational Alignment for Young Children Initiative, made possible with support from an anonymous donor and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and through initial support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the YEF Institute will identify, explore and document strong city models for aligning early childhood and K-12 systems.
The YEF Institute, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities (NJLM) and the National Center for Family Literacy assisted New Jersey mayors in launching Mayor's Book Clubs. Participating cities include Clifton, Hightstown, Hope Township, Jersey City, Mount Arlington, Neptune Township, Pleasantville and Trenton. The initiative was supported by the Verizon Foundation.
The Cities and United Ways Promoting School Readiness initiative, with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, helped the cities of Atlanta, Denver, Des Moines, Iowa, Nashville, Tenn., Providence, R.I., and San Antonio strengthen their efforts to promote school readiness among young children. The project focused specifically on efforts to support children in family, friend and neighbor (FFN) care settings.
With support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Freddie Mac Foundation, the YEF Institute assisted six cities in creating systems of support for the parents of young children in their communities. Bryan, Texas; Charleston, S.C.; Enfield, Conn.; Fort Worth, Texas; Lakewood, Ohio; and Longmont, Colo., made concrete progress in four areas: communications campaigns; initiatives to connect families with early childhood resources; programs to engage and empower parents; and efforts to establish or expand family-friendly workplace policies.
In 2004, the YEF Institute provided technical assistance to 12 cities to help them develop long-range early childhood strategic plans. These cities included: Columbus, Ohio; Fort Worth, Texas; Greenville, S.C.; Hamden, Conn.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Jackson, Miss.; Kokomo, Ind.; Mansfield, Conn.; Northglenn, Colo.; Ralston, Neb.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Tulsa, Okla.