July 8, 2019 Achievements

Sioux City’s 0-3: Prime Age to Engage Initiative Recognized with Pacesetter Honors

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) recently announced that it will recognize Sioux City’s 0-3: Prime Age to Engage program with Pacesetter Honors for its work in 2018.

“Recognizing Pacesetters is our way of applauding and thanking the civic leaders, organizations and agencies that have joined forces to build brighter futures for children in their communities,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of CGLR. “We are learning with them and from them what it takes to move the needle and close the gap. Mobilized communities — like these Pacesetters — are essential to achieving early school success.”

Each year, CGLR uses its Pacesetter Honors to highlight communities that report making measurable progress on key indicators of early school success. These communities serve as proof points and represent the “leading edge” of innovation, impact, and improvement within the GLR Network, currently comprised of more than 300 GLR communities, representing 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Alberta, Canada.

“Through our collaborative initiative, 0-3: Prime Age to Engage has developed tactics that provide parents, guardians, and caregivers with the tools they need to help children ages zero to three engage in activities that will  help them reach developmental milestones and be successful in school,” said Dr. Kim Buryanek, associate superintendent of the Sioux City Community School District. “Our efforts now will lead to reduced educational achievement gaps later.”

Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a critical milestone toward high school graduation and career success because it marks the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” National tests show that two-thirds of U.S. fourth-graders (four-fifths of whom are from low-income families) are not reading proficiently. Students who have not mastered reading by that time are more likely to drop out of high school and struggle throughout their lives.

“As this designation shows, we’ve made progress and need to continue to mobilize our community by working with our schools, city agencies, nonprofits, civic leaders and parents to communicate the importance of engaging children in active play and learning during the ages of zero to three,” said Dr. Buryanek.

The 0-3: Prime Age to Engage initiative is being recognized with Pacesetter Honors in the following categories:

  • Pacesetters in Making Game-Changing Impacts and Fixing the Brakes on Progress
  • Pacesetters in Building the Community Learning for Impact & Improvement Platform (CLIP)

The 0-3: Prime Age to Engage initiative combats illiteracy and the lack of basic language skills that plagues some children entering kindergarten. Research shows that early childhood is a critical time to support child development. Parents, physicians, and childcare providers can combat literacy challenges and create long-lasting, positive impacts on child learning with daily one-on-one time with children ages zero to three. It is important to talk, play, read, sing, and engage with children every day. Face-to-face interactions will prepare them for future academic success.

The 0-3: Prime Age to Engage initiative is a joint effort between 70 partners in the Siouxland Area including, the Sioux City Community School District, SHIP, the Siouxland Community Foundation, United Way of Siouxland, Siouxland CARES and Comprehensive Strategy for Youth Development.