United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Receives Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Pacesetter Honors


United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Receives

Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Pacesetter Honors

Lehigh Valley Reads recognized for supporting early school success

Allentown, PA, June 7, 2018 – The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading announced today that it will recognize United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) with Pacesetter Honors for its work through the Lehigh Valley Reads initiative.

“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 the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “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 ensuring school success.”

Led by UWGLV, Lehigh Valley Reads is a regional campaign for grade-level reading.  Launching in fall of 2018, Lehigh Valley Reads aims to partner with all 17 Lehigh Valley school districts and the community at large. Strong partnerships already exist within Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and Parkland which collectively serve more than 42,000 students.

“For the first time in five years, the number of third-grade students reading on grade level has improved. That’s the direct result of a network of partners who are laser-focused on educational transformation,” remarked Jill Pereira, Vice President, Education, UWGLV. “Through partnerships and coalition building, our Lehigh Valley has made progress for our most at-risk students. We need to continue to mobilize our community by working even more intentionally with our schools, city agencies, nonprofits, civic leaders and parents.”

Each year, the GLR Campaign 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 360 GLR Campaign communities, representing 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada.

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.


Information provided to TVL by:
Laura McHugh
Director, Communications and Media Relations
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
Celebrating 100 years of service to the Lehigh Valley.
1110 American Parkway NE  Suite F-120  Allentown, PA 18109