United Way of West Central Mississippi named finalist for Pacesetter Community by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) recently announced the area served by United Way of West Central Mississippi was included among 22 communities that are Pacesetter finalists for exemplifying extraordinary vision and best practices for their 2021–22 efforts.

They all emphasized the seven “Must Do Priorities” for Early School Success:

  • Stop playing catch-up
  • End chronic absence
  • Reverse the summer slide
  • Address health-related challenges
  • Equip parents to succeed
  • Advance grade-level reading and math
  • Slow learning loss and accelerate equitable learning recovery

This year, 132 peer reviewers completed 604 reviews of 72 stories that were self-nominated from 35 communities in 12 states.

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From the finalist group, CGLR will select the actual Pacesetters and announce them on Thursday, July 21, during GLR Week.

CGLR is 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.

“These Pacesetter finalists really stand out for the ways they bring to life the seven ‘must do’ priorities we’ve identified as important for early school success. Congratulations to them for this achievement and we know our entire network will learn from their example,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of CGLR.

The following communities are honored as Pacesetters finalists for making significant observable progress in one or more of the impact areas:

  • Avondale, Ariz.
  • Broward County, Fla.
  • Indian River County, Fla.
  • Miami-Dade County, Fla.
  • Suncoast (Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota Counties), Fla.
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Grinnell, Iowa
  • Marshalltown, Iowa
  • Story County, Iowa
  • Springfield, Mass.
  • St. Louis, Mo.
  • Southeast Mississippi, Miss.
  • Tupelo/Lee County, Miss.
  • Vicksburg-Warren County, Miss.
  • New York City (Mott Haven Neighborhood), N.Y.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Lehigh Valley, Pa.
  • Wyoming Valley, Pa.
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Roanoke, Va.

Since its launch in 2012, the GLR Communities Network has grown to include more than 350 communities, representing 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and two Canadian provinces — sponsored by 5,200+ local organizations, institutions and agencies and supported by 500+ state and local funders, including 200+ United Ways. To learn more, visit gradelevelreading.net and follow the movement on Twitter @readingby3rd.