Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Recognizes Bright Spot Communities

April 29, 2021

Originally posted at:


WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 29, 2021 – The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) announced today the 54 communities that are Bright Spots for their responses to the COVID crisis last year.

Specifically, CLGR is highlighting communities that developed exemplary or innovative responses to the COVID crisis, including new or adaptive roles, programs, organizational relationships/collaborations, policies and/or resources. In particular, the Campaign is recognizing communities for crafting solutions that seem especially effective, replication-worthy and/or deserving of being sustained during the post-COVID period.

Some of the initiatives include the use of digital tools, virtual tutoring, summer lunch programs, learning pods, books and learning resources distribution, community-wide COVID relief funds and other programs. A collaborative effort by funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship, CGLR focuses on promoting early school success as an important building block of more hopeful futures for children in economically challenged families and communities.

“We applaud the civic leaders and local funders whose time, talent, energy and imagination allowed them to quickly adapt and meet this moment. They truly are ‘bright spots’ and we congratulate them for the differences they’re making. We look forward to learning from their success as we move onto a post-COVID learning environment,” says Ralph Smith, managing director of CGLR.

All CGLR network communities were invited to file stories about their COVID response efforts between May and December 2020 and then CGLR reviewed these stories based on the criteria for being a Bright Spots community.

Bright Spot Communities

Calgary, Alberta
Birmingham, Alabama
Springdale, Arkansas
Avondale, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Stockton-San Joaquin County, California
Enfield, Connecticut
Kent County, Delaware
New Castle County, Delaware
Sussex County, Delaware
Indian River County, Florida
Pinellas County, Florida
Suncoast, Florida
Metro Atlanta Region, Georgia
Troup County, Georgia
Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County, Iowa
Story County, Iowa
Waukegan, Illinois
Lafayette, Indiana
Emporia, Kansas
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Montgomery County, Maryland
Portland, Maine
Kent County, Michigan
Northfield, Minnesota
Kansas City, Missouri
Tupelo/Lee County, Mississippi
Billings, Montana
Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina
Metro Omaha, Nebraska
Camden, New Jersey
Las Vegas, Nevada
Chemung County, New York
New York City, New York
Rochester, New York
Franklin County, Ohio
Wallowa County, Oregon
Erie County, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Newport, Rhode Island
Richland County, South Carolina
Black Hills, South Dakota
Regina, Saskatchewan
Nashville, Tennessee
Denton, Texas
Salt Lake City (Clearfield, Kearns, Park City and South Salt Lake), Utah
Roanoke, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
U.S. Virgin Islands
Tacoma, Washington
Cabell County, West Virginia
Fayette County, West Virginia

About the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Launched in 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. Since its launch, CGLR has grown to include more than 300 communities, representing 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and two provinces in Canada — with 5,000+ local organizations and 510 state and local funders (including 200+ United Ways). To learn more, visit and follow the movement on Twitter @readingby3rd.

Media Contact:
Adam Shapiro,, 202-427-3603