News Release - Rochester Selected for National League of Cities Initiative to Improve 3rd Grade Reading

City of Rochester

News Release

(Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013) - Mayor Thomas S. Richards announced today that Rochester is one of six U.S. cities selected to participate in a National League of Cities (NLC) initiative to improve collaboration among community agencies to help children read at grade level by the third grade.

The NLC’s Municipal Leadership to Promote Educational Alignment for Young Children initiative will provide technical support to the ROC the Future coalition through the Rochester Public Library and the Children’s Agenda. ROC the Future is a communitywide initiative to coordinate the work of local agencies seeking to close the achievement gap for students in Rochester Schools.

“I am honored to support the mission of ROC the Future and grateful to the National League of Cities for the assistance it will provide through this program,” said Mayor Richards. “When we give children the gift of reading, we empower them with the ability to learn new skills and disciplines over the course of their lives. Considering the pace of change in the economy of today and the future, this is an important and beneficial legacy we can pass on to Rochester’s next generation.”

The NLC’s technical assistance will help ROC the Future improve cooperation among the Rochester City School District, City Departments and the non-profit sector to develop a unified strategy to focus on early-childhood education for City students in Pre-K through 3rd grade. Library Director Patty Uttaro, the City’s representative on the ROC the Future coalition, and Carolyn Lee-Davis of the Children’s Agenda will participate in monthly conference calls to learn from national experts on educational alignment and share best practices with other cities participating in the program.

Other cities selected to receive assistance through the initiative include Austin, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Hartford, Conn.; Longmont, Colo.; and Richmond, Va.

The Educational Alignment initiative will run through the end of next year.

Over the course of the initiative period, ROC the Future will seek to identify a baseline of children who will benefit from developmental assistance prior to entering school; develop metrics to define, measure and increase parental engagement in elementary schools; study innovative financing mechanisms to increase funding for pre-kindergarten programs; host focus groups of pre-K and kindergarten teachers to better align the early-childhood curriculum; establish a network of elementary-school principals interested in implementing the strategies developed through the initiative.

Within three to five years the program will seek to increase by 50 percent the number of young children who receive developmental assistance prior to entering school; increase parental engagement in 10 RCSD elementary schools; ensure at least 50 percent of all city three-year-old olds have access to high-quality pre-kindergarten programs; and implement educational-alignment programs for young children in 25 percent of RCSD elementary schools.


News Media: For more information, contact Patricia Uttaro, Library Director, at 428-8045.


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