Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Honors Arkansas’s Commitment to Third Grade Reading

Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, visited Arkansas this week. Smith participated in several events with AR-GLR highlighting Arkansas’s commitment to reading.

Gov Hutchinson award

  • On Wednesday, AR-GLR hosted a reception, sponsored by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Arkansas Community Foundation, celebrating Arkansas’s commitment and progress to ensure all Arkansas children read proficiently by the end of the third grade. Smith presented a State Pacesetter Honor to Arkansas and a Special Recognition to Governor Asa Hutchinson for his dedication to early school success in Arkansas.


Clinton school panel

  • As a part of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service’s 
    Speaker Series, Smith moderated a panel focusing on AR-GLR’s efforts to increase the percentage of third grades who can read on grade-level in Arkansas. The panelists include Dr. Chad Rodgers, medical director of the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care; Johnny Key, commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education; Susan Underwood, education and instruction manager in the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education at the Arkansas Department of Human Services; and Angela Duran, campaign director for the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. On Thursday, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published an article with highlights from Wednesday's panel. Watch the full Clinton Speaker Series panel here. 


  • On Thursday, Angela Duran, campaign director for  AR-GLR, and Heather Larkin, president and CEO of Arkansas Community Foundation, wrote a guest column in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: On the RISE: Reading skills pivotal to success. Duran and Larkin highlight Gov. Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education's commitment to fostering a culture of reading in Arkansas. They highlight the department's new initiative: Reading Initiative for Student Excellence (R.I.S.E) Arkansas. RISE launched in January of 2017 and partners with schools across the state to create a culture of reading, educate parents and increase children's access to books.