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River Region United Way launches coalition to increase reading proficiency rates

A new coalition to increase the number of students across the River Region reading proficiently...
A new coalition to increase the number of students across the River Region reading proficiently by the end of third grade has been launched.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Sep. 12, 2021 at 11:32 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A new coalition to increase the number of students across the River Region reading proficiently by the end of third grade has been launched.

The River Region Bold Coalition was launched by River Region United Way. According to the nonprofit, the effort will consist of various local entities that support children and families in Autauga, Elmore, Lowndes, Macon, and Montgomery counties.

United Way announced the new initiative during an online forum featuring comments from Barbara Cooper, the secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, as well as a discussion with school superintendents from Autauga County Schools, Elmore County Public Schools, Lowndes County Public Schools, Macon County Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools and Pike Road City Schools. The United Way’s Leadership Forum was attended by leaders of the area’s civic, community, and education communities.

River Region United Way said the coalition will invest in new and existing strategies from birth through a child’s first eight years that address the root causes for why some children struggle with reading.

“The truth is, there is no one organization or strategy that can ensure that every child in the River Region reads proficiently by the end of third grade. Pervasive issues require collective action to make a collective impact. It will take all of us working together, aligning our efforts, and coming up with shared community goals and solutions,” said President and CEO of River Region United Way Ron Simmons.

The coalition is modeled after the Alabama Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and similar efforts across the country, including in Birmingham. The River Region Bold Goal Coalition aims to become a StriveTogether community partner.

According to United Way, the coalition will start forming working groups to identify the programs and strategies to be pursued in the coming months.

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