City of Paterson and Paterson Public School officials will join with representatives of Paterson Reads to celebrate the adoption of an actionable, standards-driven, city-wide reading campaign to track literacy improvement over time. The campaign includes specific measurement of literacy skill level at a young age in order to boost reading achievement for all students by the third grade. The City of Paterson has now formally signed on to join Paterson Reads in the fight to achieve community-wide reading success by way of the Community Solutions Action Plan (CSAP) model, developed by the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

Rosie Grant, Executive Director of Paterson Education Fund said, “We are so excited that the city has adopted the CSAP. 26 community partners have come together to develop this plan and have begun implementation of the strategies. The collective impact approach allows everyone to bring what they have to the table and work together for a common goal.”

“Since I have become Superintendent of Schools, the Paterson Public School District launched an aggressive reading program for students in kindergarten through the fifth grade. Before the pandemic, we had more students in those grades reading at or above grade level. This was progress made, but we need to do more, especially as we prepare for our students and staff to return to our schools in September,” said Superintendent of Schools Eileen F. Shafer. “When it comes to leading our students to reading success, Paterson Public Schools is at its best when we have the help of community partners like Paterson Reads, the Paterson Education Fund and the City of Paterson. That is why I applaud the efforts being announced today to focus on our youngest readers, help develop their literacy, and lay the foundation for their academic achievement.”

“I’m proud that my wife had decided to champion this issue alongside Paterson Reads at its inception. We stress the importance of reading in our home home and want to encourage parents throughout Paterson to read in their homes, both to and with their children,” said Mayor Andre Sayegh. “It is incredibly encouraging that the City Council and Public Schools similarly see this initiative as a priority and are implementing the benchmarks we need throughout our educational institutions. The goal is to set our children up for long-term success!”

Multiple members of the Paterson City Council are highly active advocates of the Paterson Reads Coalition and its efforts to improve child literacy citywide. Councilwoman Ruby Cotton, representing Paterson’s Fourth Ward, noted the following, “I am happy to have been a part of the CSAP planning. If we are to advocate for education, we must do all we can to engage everyone in helping our children to achieve and solving problems. Improving education must be a priority and I am proud to work with the Coalition on this plan.” Councilwoman-at-Large Lilisa Mimms further underscored the impact of the plan, noting that, “When we empower our youth to read, our future gets brighter!”

The Paterson Reads Coalition strives to improve school readiness, reduce chronic absence, and promote summer learning in ways that put students on track for reading proficiency by the end of the third grade. The Coalition is a cross-sector collective of public agencies, funders, not-for-profit organizations, community leaders, and other key stakeholders. Each member represents a key component of the citywide system that educates and cares for Paterson’s children. Paterson Reads is a partner of the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

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