Our Mission

Mission Statement: “Cedar Valley Readers works to close the achievement gap, reduce high school dropout rates and end intergenerational poverty by providing literacy support and resources in the focus areas of school readiness, school attendance and summer learning/afterschool so every child can be reading proficiently by the end of third grade.”


An alarming number of children – about 67 percent nationwide and more than 80 percent of those from low-income families – are not proficient readers by the end of third grade. This has significant and long-term consequences not only for each of those children, but for their communities and our nation as a whole. If left unchecked, this problem will undermine efforts to end intergenerational poverty, close the achievement gap and reduce high school dropout rates. Far fewer of the next generation will be prepared to succeed in a global economy, participate in higher education or enter military and civilian service.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading was launched to reverse this potentially catastrophic trend by supporting common-sense solutions at the federal, state and local levels. In communities nationwide, the Campaign works within three solution areas proven to move the needle on third grade reading proficiency:

1.  Summer learning activities that increase literacy skills. Read more →
2.  Helping every child to be at school all day, every day. Read more →
3.  Starting kindergarten ready to learn. Read more →

Cedar Valley Readers is a local collaborative effort to help more young children to read well by the end of third grade. We are part of the national Campaign for Grade Level reading initiative.

Iowa is one of the leaders in the Campaign for Grade Level Reading with several communities launching initiatives in 2012.  These communities include Dubuque (Every Child/Every Promise), the Quad Cities, Ames (Ames Reads), Marshalltown (Spread the Words – Read by Third!), Council Bluffs and Des Moines.

In 2014, several people in the Cedar Valley, including staff from the McElroy Trust and the Cedar Valley United Way, learned about the Campaign for Grade Level Reading in other Iowa communities.  They began assembling a group of people to explore the idea and found other people and organizations who wanted to help.

We would love your help!
Engaged communities mobilized to remove barriers, expand opportunities and assist parents in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities to serve as full partners in the success of their children are needed to assure student success. Click here for more information on how you to get involved