Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Friday, January 11 and Saturday, January 12

Philander Smith College
900 W. Daisy L Gatson Bates Drive
Little Rock, AR

Registration is now Closed.

The Arkansas Campaign for Grade Level Reading (AR-GLR) is committed to the goal that by 2020, ALL Arkansas children will read at grade-level by the end of third grade. Join us for the AR-GLR ACTION SUMMIT to learn more about the urgency of reading by third grade and to discuss what Arkansas can do now to reach this critical milestone.


  • Keynote address by Ralph Smith, Managing Director of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
  • Town hall meeting with state education, business, and policy leaders
  • Workshops for parents, educators, community leaders and policymakers on school readiness, summer learning loss, parent and community engagement, and cultural competency
  • Pacesetter Awards to honor Arkansas champions of grade-level reading




11:00 a.m.

Registration Opens


1:00 p.m.

Opening Plenary
Welcome: Cory Anderson
Vice President, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

Keynote Address: Ralph Smith
Managing Director, national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

AR-GLR “Ted Talk”
Rich Huddleston & Takema Robinson-Bradberry

3:00 p.m.

Town Hall Meeting
Winning: How Do We Make 3rd Grade Reading a State Policy Priority for Arkansas?
During the town hall meeting, Arkansas education leaders will share their thoughts on what we must do to achieve the goal of all third graders reading proficiently by 2020.  In particular, they will highlight opportunities at the policy-level for addressing this goal.

Moderator: Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury
CEO, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation


  • Dr. Richard Abernathy, Executive Director, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators

  • State Senator Joyce Elliot, Vice Chair, Senate Education Committee

  • Dr. Tom Kimbrell, Commissioner, Arkansas Department of Education

  • Donna Morey, President, Arkansas Education Association

  • Randy Zook, President/CEO, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce

4:30 p.m.




8:00 a.m.

Registration/Continental Breakfast


8:30 a.m.

Opening Plenary
Takema Robinson-Bradberry

Highlights from the Study on Chronic Absence
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families will discuss preliminary results from their analysis of chronic absence data in Arkansas elementary schools.

Rich Huddleston
Executive Director, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

Jerri Derlikowski
Director of Education Policy and Finance, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

9:45 a.m.

Concurrent Workshops

Improve School Readiness
Learn what children need to know to be ready for school, how well we are doing as a state to prepare our children, and what else we can do.

  • Moderator: Geania Dickey, Invest Early Coalition

  • Jackie Dedman, Arkansas Head Start State Collaborative Office

  • Jamie Gates, Conway Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Tonya Russell, Arkansas Department of Human Services

Increase Cultural Competence
Speakers in this session will share strategies that will help children of all races and ethnicities achieve the goal of reading proficiency by third grade.

  • Moderator:  Regan Gruber Moffitt

  • Patrick Oliver, Say It Loud!

  • Diana Gonzalez Worthen, Project Realizing and Increasing Student Excellence (RISE), Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Arkansas

Stop Summer Learning Loss
Learn how children regress on reading proficiency during the summer and what we can do about it.  Speakers will discuss the components of an effective summer learning program and efforts to extend the school year.

  • Moderator: Laveta Wills-Hale, Arkansas Out-of-School Network

  • Louis Bennett, Boys, Girls, Adults Community Development Center

  • Shelby Kriz, Boys & Girls Club of Central Arkansas

  • Liz Easley, Marvell-Elaine Primary School

Strengthen Community & Parent Engagement
Learn about several models for engaging parents and the community with schools and summer and after school programs in meaningful ways. 

  • Moderator: Andre Guerrero, Arkansas Department of Education 

  • Juanita Burton, Eudora

  • Charlie Conklin, ARKids Read

  • Lavina Grandon, Rural Community Alliance

11:00 a.m.

Concurrent Workshops
Repeat Workshops Above

12:30 p.m.- 2:00 p.m.

Awards Ceremony/Lunch
Performance: The Glory Land Pastors Choir

Presentation of Pacesetter Awardees

Learn how you can take action and be a part of the solution!