Bethlehem Area School District’s Jack Silva Inducted Into Grade-Level Reading Council of Champions


Campaign for Grade-level reading recognizes BASD Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer for exemplary service.


Bethlehem, PA September 21, 2018 – The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has recognized Bethlehem Area School District (BASD) Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer Jack Silva, Ed.D., for his exemplary service to the Greater Lehigh Valley as a new member of its Council of Champions. With this national honor for his leadership to BASD, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) and Lehigh Valley Reads – a regional campaign for grade-level reading, Silva joins an esteemed panel of advocates from across the United States.

“Dr. Silva is passionate about helping students overcome the societal and economic barriers that keep many students from reaching their full potential. Knowing that early literacy and reading by grade 3 are essential to reducing barriers, Dr. Silva committed himself, in partnership with the UWGLV, to designing and delivering research based literacy instruction that has already had a powerful impact in our district. It’s amazing work, and Dr. Silva has been at the lead. He richly deserves this recognition,” said Joseph Roy, Ed.D., Superintendent, BASD, and Board Chair, UWGLV.

“Dr. Silva is so deserving of this honor. He is an innovative educational leader, and his leadership is driving regional, systems-level change that will positively impact thousands of children and our community at-large in substantial ways,” said Jill Pereira, Vice President, Education, UWGLV. “During Dr. Silva’s time with Bethlehem Area School District, he has created a powerfully aligned and synergistic partnership with our United Way. He was a critical voice and key leader in the process of establishing the bold education goal of increasing by 50% the number of third graders reading on grade level by 2022.”

The Grade-Level Reading Council of Champions honors exemplary volunteers, early care and education providers, school and civic leaders, public officials, and others who communities nominate based on their alliance with and support for local and statewide efforts to support early literacy success. Since 2015, Dr. Silva has led the District team’s creation and execution of the BASD Reading by Grade 3 (RBG3) plan aimed at all BASD 3rd graders reading on grade level by 2021 with progress underway.

Further, Dr. Silva provides the lead educational voice for Lehigh Valley Reads, our regional campaign for grade-level reading. In the Lehigh Valley, one in three third graders cannot read on grade level. Launching in fall of 2018, Lehigh Valley Reads aims to partner with all 17 Lehigh Valley school districts and the community at large to ensure all students can read on grade level by 2025. Strong partnerships already exist within Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and Parkland which collectively serve more than 42,000 students.

Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a crucial milestone toward high school graduation and success later in life because it marks the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Students who have not mastered reading by that time are more likely to drop out of high school and struggle throughout their lives.

“We are grateful for the work of Dr. Silva and thrilled to welcome him into the GLR Council of Champions,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “Dr. Silva’s leadership helps to ensure that the Lehigh Valley is ‘connecting the dots’ to ensure early school success. Moving the needle on grade-level reading takes consistent two-generation supports and interventions, and Dr. Silva’s contributions in these solutions areas are driving the bigger outcomes and game-changing impact that will assure more hopeful futures for the next generation.”

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading honored Silva during GLR Week 2018 in Philadelphia. His achievement will also be recognized at the Bethlehem Area School District Board of School Directors meeting on Monday, September 24 at 7 p.m. at East Hills Middle School.

Among past GLR Council of Champions honorees across the country are superintendents, national and state legislators, local government officials, foundation leaders, and nonprofit organization founders.


Mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
The mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley is to provide the leadership, convene the partnerships, and develop the resources and solutions that improve our community.  We remain committed to these goals and sincerely appreciate the continued support of partners, program providers and donors throughout the Lehigh Valley.

About Bethlehem Area School District

The Bethlehem Area School District is the 6th largest school district in Pennsylvania serving nearly 14,000 culturally and economically diverse students in 22 community-based schools. The district serves five municipalities: City of Bethlehem, Bethlehem Township, Hanover Township, Freemansburg and Fountain Hill.  The district enjoys numerous community partnerships with universities, businesses, and arts providers that extend the schools’ rich curricular and co-curricular offerings.


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 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, the GLR Campaign has grown to include more than 390 communities, representing 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada — with 4,100 local organizations and more than 520 state and local funders (including 191 United Ways). To learn more, visit and follow the movement on Twitter @readingby3rd.

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