Highlights

313Reads Coalition at the 2021 YDRC Summer Summit

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313Reads Coalition Members, Maria Franklin, Katie Solomon, Heidi Miller, and Dr. Leah van Belle, came together at the 2021 Youth Development Resource Center (YDRC) Summer Summit to discuss the community benefits of incorporating literacy into summer programming. They shared how many coalition members do this through partnerships with support from 313Reads! Thank you to Maria Franklin of Detroit PAL, Katie Solomon of Downtown Boxing Gym, and Heidi Miller of Center for Success for presenting alongside Dr. Leah van Belle of the 313Reads core team! View the presentation materials below:

Supporting Detroit students with literacy is more important than ever following the impact of COVID-19 related virtual learning on students, teachers, and schools . Detroit students are brilliant and have lived under systemic inequities that create barriers to the opportunities that would support them in reading at grade level. This affects their access to opportunities for the rest of their lives. Even before the pandemic, some zip codes in Detroit had few as 3.6% of students reading at grade level, while other zip codes had 28% of students reading at grade level. Statewide, about 50% of students are reading at grade level. These statistics show that opportunities and supports are inequitably distributed both at the state and the city level;early reports show these inequities being exacerbated by the pandemic. In this presentation, 313Reads Coalition Members discuss how we can combat those inequities through strategic partnerships that incorporate literacy into summer programming.

Maria Franklin of Detroit PAL led the group in discussion about integrating literacy programming into summer programming. Detroit PAL hosts summer and out of school time programming focused on sports. In order to face the educational inequities faced by Detroit students, they incorporate literacy supports into their sports programs! This looks like caring mentors and homework help through their Books Before Balls program with intentional conversations through reading. 30 minutes of book study and intentional conversations prior to sports practices makes a difference. Detroit PAL can offer their Books Before Balls program because of partnerships with Brilliant Detroit, BookNook, and 313Reads.

Katie Solomon of Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG) discussed the importance of partnerships in supporting Detroit students with literacy. Their program uses boxing as a way to get students in the door, but their main focus is on literacy. To improve their tutoring programs, they partner with Center for Success  (CFS) who brought an evidence-based literacy intervention model. Before partnering with CFS, 16% of their students were reading at or above grade level. Through this partnership 47% of students are now reading at or above grade level.

Heidi of CFS continued the discussion around the partnership between CFS and DBG. She explains that having a dual employee who is deeply involved in both the DBG and the CFS team has been incredibly helpful for bringing the best possible literacy support to students. Furthermore, their partnership has been extremely beneficial for securing grants for both sides that ultimately provide greater ability to support kids and families.

Leah explained the role 313Reads can play in supporting these partnerships and individual program providers with their literacy work. In our collective impact coalition, all partners roll up sleeves together to work toward literacy equity and grade level reading in Detroit. A large part of this support comes from literacy assessments, data sharing, and data dashboards. Each program partner gets access to the coalitions collective data dashboard as well as an individual data dashboard for continuous improvement and reporting. We also offer collective funding and Communities of Practice (CoP). We are currently coming together with community partners to mobilize a CoP around the Science of Reading and Literacy Practices for Equity  as well as a CoP around Early Childhood Education Enrollment and Attendance. To learn more about partnering with us, email info@313Reads.org!

Watch the recording to learn more!

Reports explaining the urgency of supporting students with literacy opportunities following the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic: