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The original item was published from 7/20/2020 10:29:47 AM to 1/1/2021 12:00:17 AM.

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Roanoke News

Posted on: July 20, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Pacesetter Honors Announced

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading  has announced  that it is recognizing Roanoke’s Star City Reads initiative as a Pacesetter Finalist for its work in 2019. “We applaud the civic leaders and local funders whose time, talent, energy and imagination have fueled progress in these Pacesetter Communities,” says Ralph Smith, managing director of CGLR. “Mobilized communities — like these Pacesetter Finalists — support our big bet on the problem-solving potential of proximity.”

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.

“Through our collaborative initiatives, Star City Reads has developed models that provide children with the tools they need to be successful in school,” said Sheila Umberger, Director of Roanoke Public Libraries, the lead entity of the Star City Reads campaign. “Our creative partnerships have allowed us to provide our most at-risk children and their families with the academic and socioemotional tools they need to succeed. As this designation shows, we’ve made progress and need to continue to mobilize our community to make even more progress.”

Roanoke is a Pacesetter Finalist in for the community’s work around improving children’s health outcomes, as a sick or hungry child cannot learn. Roanoke Public Libraries’ 2019 partnership with Carilion Children’s Jefferson Pediatric Clinic and the City of Roanoke Department of Human/Social Services, called "Feed, Read, and Grow," was highlighted in the 2019 designation. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, "Feed, Read, and Grow" brought social workers into the Main Library once a week for confidential consultations, expanded the Main Library’s parenting book collection, and led to the development of a bilingual family health workshop. According to Harsha Bhagtani, M.D. and Natalia Jaimes, M.D. “This partnership has been very well received by the community as they are having access to all the resources at the library, helping to improve medical coverage, and options for food insecurity and other social needs. The workshops have been wonderful as we are collaborating with multiple leaders in the community that have the same goals of improving health literacy and growing resilience in our children and their families.

“We look forward to resuming these important community services once it is safe to do so,” Umberger said. “Ensuring that children and their caregivers have access to the health information and resources they need is a crucial aspect of a child’s school success and an important goal of our Star City Reads initiative.”

For more information, contact Sheila Umberger at 540-853-2476 or send an email to [email protected].

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 across the United States and in Canada. To learn more, visit and follow the movement on Twitter @readingby3rd. To learn more about Star City Reads, visit and follow @StarCityReads on Facebook.



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