The Greater Austin Reading Coalition

Committed to Improving Reading Proficiency

Founded in 2021, the Greater Austin Reading Coalition is a diverse coalition of nonprofit and community leaders, librarians, teachers, and parents working toward a shared vision of supporting children, grades K – 3, to ensure they are reading on or above grade level by the fourth grade — a pivotal point in a child’s reading development.

By the end of third grade, children transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” If a student is not reading at grade level, they can fall behind, and are four times less likely to graduate high school than their peers. The increased earning potential of an individual who attains a high school diploma or goes on to attain a college degree is substantially greater than those who do not have the opportunity to do so.

The coalition is convened by United Way for Greater Austin as part of the organization’s collective impact work to fight poverty.

Goals & Framework

The long-term goal of the Greater Austin Reading Coalition is to ensure that all children are reading on or above grade level by the fourth grade.

To achieve this, our coalition has four strategic goals that will not only build a community culture of reading within Greater Austin, but also address the barriers that many children and families face in accessing culturally relevant reading materials and building grade-level reading proficiency.

Community Culture of Reading

Build a community culture of reading for fun and learning, cultivating a love of books within children

Strategy 1:
Distributing books in multiple settings

Strategy 2:
Organizing special literacy events (e.g. book fairs, readings by authors, etc.)

Out-of-School Time Learning

Provide enriching out-of-school time (OST) services with literacy goals

Strategy 1:
Creating literacy curriculum kits or activity guides

Strategy 2:
Increasing connections between OST providers and public libraries

Strategy 3:
Providing professional development training in early literacy for OST providers’ front-line staff members

Engaged Families

Engage parents and caretakers, creating accessible resources for building their child(ren)’s reading proficiency

Strategy 1:
Offering workshops and training opportunities to parents/caretakers 

Strategy 2:
Promoting websites or apps with high-quality family reading activities 

Strategy 3:
Sponsoring family literacy nights

High-Dosage Tutoring

Provide OST high-dosage tutoring during, supporting reading skill development

Strategy 1:
Scaling local tutoring programs that are highly effective

Coalition Members

These organizations and individuals share a mutual commitment to improving opportunities for local children by increasing grade-level reading rates in the Greater Austin community:

You can help make a difference!

We all have the power to move the needle on grade-level reading rates in our community. All you have to do is care, engage, and act. 

Together, we can help ensure that every child in Greater Austin has the opportunity to tap into their full potential. 

To learn more, please contact:

Michelle Hutson-Crawford
Director of K-12 Education

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