Growing Readers

DCMO-Region Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Oct 1, 2019 - Please Share!

DCMO Growing Readers - Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

I will share reading, school attendance, school readiness, and outside-of-school-time learning, and family engagement information and news from time to time. Please send me news of your related event and activities to include!

A dedicated group of area educators and community leaders have been meeting regularly to create a Community Solutions Action Plan to identify regional initiatives, identify strengths and gaps, and create and support initiatives with a plan to roll out our plan in early 2020. Our focus is to support the excellent learning in our classrooms through collaborative and strategic family and community connections and outreach.

We have contracted with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading experts, Smarter Learning Group, for guidance in our work. This was made possible by funding in part from the A. Lindsay & Olive B. O’Connor Foundation.

Children can achieve grade-level reading but schools cannot do it alone!

For more info, please contact Cindy Buerkle, DCMO BOCES School Library System Coordinator - 607-335-1371 or

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The Opportunities for Chenango, Inc. Head Start Program is about to launch a well-respected children’s literacy program in various locations throughout Chenango County that will reach hundreds of local families. Unlike other literacy programs, this one is based on engaging parents to help their children develop, practice and maintain literacy habits critical for a child’s success. The program is part of Raising A Reader, a national nonprofit organization that has reached more than 1.25 million families across the country during the past 15 years.

The program is being launched at seven locations on October 2nd from 5:00-6:30 pm as part of a special “Kick-Off” event for Head Start families. We anticipate that several hundred parents and children will attend.

  • Highland Park Alliance Church, Greene
  • St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Oxford
  • Greenlawn School- Bainbridge
  • Chase Nursing Home Community Center- New Berlin
  • North Norwich Town Hall- North Norwich
  • United Church of Christ- Norwich
  • Early Head Start Family Center- Norwich

There is an abundance of research that shows a direct and proven relationship between family engagement and the academic growth and development of children, including social competence and relationships, cognitive development, communication skills, literacy development, vocabulary growth, expressive language, and comprehension skills. A child’s literacy habits and abilities are formed before the age of 8 for many children. For those that are not reading at grade level by the time they are in the third grade, they have a significantly lower chance of ever catching up.

As part of this initiative, parents will be trained to develop book-sharing routines in the home and to practice “parent-friendly” book-sharing techniques with their children. Each week, children in the toddler and preschool classrooms will bring home a different bag filled with beautiful, high-quality multicultural books. Home-Based Visitors will bring the bags to families in their homes as part of their weekly visits. This exchange of books will continue for 17 weeks. Families will also be connected to their local libraries so they can sustain their family book sharing routines.

Sherburne-Earlville - One School, One Book - Read to Them!

Sherburne-Earlville Elementary School (Toni Halliday, principal) has selected Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan for their annual One school, One book Read-to-Them initiative!
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United Way Brings Dolly Parton Imagination Library to the Entirety Delaware and Otsego Counties

Children between 0 and their 5th birthday, living anywhere in Delaware or Otsego Counties are now eligible for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a free book gifting program made possible by donations made to United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties and by a grant from the A. Lindsay & Olive B. O’Connor Foundation. To register your children go to and select programs and choose Dolly Parton Imagination Library from the drop-down list.

Every month, registered children receive a high-quality book in the mail. There is no cost to parents. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library handles the database maintenance, book ordering, and mailing. But they can’t do it alone. There must be a community champion to help register children and promote the program. That is where United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties steps in. United Way works to create lasting improvements to education, income, and health by addressing the underlying problems in these areas. Since 2009, United Way Worldwide has partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to encourage local United Ways to help sponsor and support the Imagination Library in their communities.

For more information:
Kimberly A Lorraine
Executive Director


SIRS Reports for Chronic Absenteeism

School Leaders,

Are you familiar with the attendance reports available through the SCRIC?

Looking at Chronic Absenteeism is different than typical attendance data. Chronic absence looks at more than unexcused absences. Chronic absence is when a student misses (for whatever reason) 10% or more of school days. Some districts have seen as much as 40% of elementary school students missing this much classroom time, and as much as 60% who are in danger of being designated as chronically absent.

The Growing Readers attendance team is currently working on a plan of shared strategies across the region to address this issue.

SIRS‐360 Daily Attendance/Absence Verification Report

SIRS‐361 Year to Date Attendance/Absenteeism Verification Report