Holyoke Named 2013 Pacesetter for Community Effort to Promote Early Literacy Text Size

The City of Holyoke’s campaign to improve reading proficiency among its youngest students has been recognized as a 2013 Community Pacesetter by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, an honor that reflects the energy, mobilization and creativity that the local community has brought to this important work.


“My administration has made early literacy one of its top priorities, and this recognition validates those efforts,” Mayor Alex Morse commented. “We are lucky to have a coalition of great educators, community leaders, and City officials who are fully invested in seeing Holyoke’s school system succeed. Every child deserves a quality education, and it truly takes the cooperation and collaboration of the entire community to help see this through.”


Holyoke launched its Holyoke Early Literacy Initiative, making it one of the 140 communities working with the GLR Campaign, a nationwide movement of local leaders, states, nonprofits, and foundations putting a stake in the ground on third-grade reading. The communities are adopting a collective impact strategy, engaging the full community around the goal of supporting low-income children from birth through third grade. Acknowledging that schools alone cannot address all the challenges that keep children from learning to read, these work with nonprofits and other partners to ensure that children arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed, attend school regularly and keep learning through the summer months.


The Mayor would be remiss if he did not acknowledge the efforts of key community organizations and leaders, including:  Mary Wallachy of The Davis Foundation, Sylvia deHaas-Phillips and Dora Robinson from United Way, Family Literacy Coordinator Jody Spitz, Early Literacy Coordinator Andrew Melendez, Early Childhood Director Mary Curro, all the dedicated staff and teachers of the Holyoke Public Schools, former Superintendent David Dupont, current Superintendent Sergio Paez, and former School Committee Representative Michael Moriarty, who recognized the importance of early literacy efforts early on and served as a pioneer working tirelessly on behalf of Holyoke’s students.


“We are impressed and inspired by what Holyoke has accomplished so far,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and a senior vice president at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “With its commitment, resourcefulness and collaborative spirit, Holyoke truly is setting the pace and providing a model for communities across the nation who are seeking to give more children from low-income families a chance at a brighter future.” 

Posted on January 17, 2014 by