The Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading supports and advocates for policies supported by research that can have a positive impact on key factors contributing to building strong Arkansas readers:
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) manages the policy, advocacy, and research components of the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Since the establishment of AR-GLR, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families has overseen an aggressive policy and advocacy agenda in support of AR-GLR and its impact areas.
AR-GLR is currently focused on these top three policy priorities:
- Ensure that all children receive developmental screenings and any services identified by those screens.
- Offer incentives to increase quality in early childhood education by investing in the education, pay, and benefits of the early childhood workforce
- Build Arkansas’s future workforce by providing adequate funding for current Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) pre-K programs so they can continue to offer high-quality education opportunities to our state’s children. ABC has been proven to help close the achievement gap between children from low-income and higher-income families.
- Provide funding for school and community partnerships for after-school and summer programs as laid out in the Positive Youth Development Act. Children who don’t attend quality summer programs can fall two to three grade levels behind their peers by 5th grade.
- Ensure that elementary school teachers have evidence-based tools for teaching reading. Many educators do not feel prepared to teach children to read.
Check out the below examples to learn more about our ongoing policy, advocacy, and research partnership with AACF.
- Littlest Learners Report: AR-GLR and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families have partnered on a report on the factors that contribute to the development of infants and toddlers and impact their school readiness. The report outlines the factors that impact school readiness in the first three years of life such as ensuring that infants and toddlers have access to quality healthcare, quality early education programs, early developmental screenings and strong parental engagement. The report also offers recommendations on how policymakers can prioritize programs that support families with young children and recommendations for parents on how to help their childrenﾒs early brain development.
- Reducing Chronic Absence for Children in Foster Care and FINS Report:
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) and AR-GLR took a close look at how children’s involvement in foster care and FINS may be contributing to their chronic absence and disrupting their learning. This report features anecdotal evidence from several stakeholders to better understand the problem. This report discusses some of the issues, uplifts school and districts that are bright spots, and offers recommendations to help the state reduce chronic absence for kids in FINS and foster care.
- The Importance of Childhood Screenings Report: AR-GLR and AACF released a report joined Arkansas nonprofits and agencies to present an interim study on pre-K to the state legislature in Nov. 2014. The report demonstrated the benefits of investing in early childhood education and the need for increased funding to maintain pre-K offerings to children in the state.