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City's Early Literacy Work Lauded

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WAMC
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A community campaign to improve early child literacy in Springfield, Massachusetts has won national honors. 

Springfield’s “Reading Success by 4th Grade” initiative was cited for making measurable progress on reducing chronic school absenteeism and for an innovative summer reading program, according to Amy O’Leary, who represents the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

"Springfield is doing well," said O'Leary. " We know they are a model not just in Massachusetts, but across the country."

Only 40 percent of Springfield’s children read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade, but that’s an improvement over the 28 percent reading proficiency when the initiative began more than five years ago.  Research shows children who can read proficiently by 4th grade are less likely to drop out of high school.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.