Led by The Florida’s Children Council, the Florida Grade-Level Reading (GLR) Campaign is a statewide network supporting community literacy efforts and their strategic approaches to ensure reading success for all Florida children. Last fall, nine Florida GLR communities participated in the Lectio Institute to sharpen and strengthen their programs and investments to better serve the state’s children. Read about this collaboration and its impact below in an interview with Jenn Faber, the Director of Grade-Level Reading at The Florida Children’s Council.
What challenges were you facing within the Florida Grade-Level Reading initiative prior to the Lectio Institute?
As the GLR state lead agency, we seek and invest in dynamic and practical technical assistance opportunities to directly support our local campaigns and their needs. Our staff at The Children’s Council/Florida GLR was looking to share effective strategies for communities to develop an understanding of how their community-based literacy efforts were collectively leading to impact. This included understanding the needed balance of GLR awareness efforts and behavioral changing interventions that produce measurable reading outcomes for all children.
What about the Lectio approach resonated with you, and specifically applied to your campaign’s work?
The Lectio Institute introduced numerous useable strategies throughout the three days that addressed this challenge of program balance. One of these supports was Lectio’s Program Design Evaluation Tool. Participating communities actively engaged with the tool, establishing their prioritization of outcome-driven initiatives that both maximize their resources and impact on literacy rates. It also exposed teams to the reality of sun-setting ineffective programs, those that provide little to no measurable return on investment.
The team-based approach that Lectio provided helped make this our most impactful technical assistance offered to our GLR partners throughout the state. Bringing together teams of community partners from across the state to learn, share, strategize, and prioritize their work both during and after the Lectio Institute was powerful.
What kind of initial changes have the Florida communities made as a result of the Lectio approach?
All communities have already taken back Lectio strategies to their home community for on-going analysis and prioritization of their local GLR investments. To help support these changes, the work undertaken, and to continue building the capacity of our growing local GLR communities, we have already incorporated future Lectio strategic planning sessions and institutes in our future state campaign work plan.
Overall, the Lectio institute exceeded our expectations, and our Florida GLR campaign partners thank the Lectio team for sharing their expertise in early literacy and promoting the importance of program design for measurable impact. Due to the Lectio Approach, we are improving our GLR efforts across the state!
*Florida Grade-Level Reading communities pictured above: Broward County, City of Delray Beach, Indian River County, Jacksonville, Martin County, Orlando/Orange County, Palm Beach County, Pinellas County, St. Lucie County