Press Release

DETROIT, Mich. (March 27, 2019) – Detroit Parent Network and The Education Trust-Midwest are excited to announce a partnership designed to help prepare and equip Detroit area parents for Michigan’s ‘Read by Grade Three’ law.

By the end of summer 2019, co-developed toolkits for parents and families will be publicly available as a result of this collaboration. Designed to help parents ensure that the needs of their students are being met, the toolkits will focus on the requirements of the law, ways to engage with schools and school districts to support student learning, and identify existing community resources to help students learn to read.

“This partnership joins together the research and policy development expertise of the Education Trust-Midwest with the trusted voice and long history of successful parent engagement of Detroit Parent Network,” said Amber Arellano, executive director of the Education Trust-Midwest. “We are excited to combine our efforts to help support parents and students in our region.”

On April 27, in conjunction with Detroit’s Day of the Young Child, Detroit Parent Network and The Education Trust-Midwest will launch The web portal will be developed by parents, for parents, making early literacy tools available to any parent with internet access.

“Our children thrive when our families and communities are strong,” added Jametta Lilly, chief executive officer of Detroit Parent Network. “DPN is proud to join with the Education Trust-Midwest in this important strategy that will help expand parent awareness and understanding of the significance of early literacy and the Third Grade Reading Law. We look forward to helping inform and coach parents with the accessible information and peer-to-peer training that supports learning in their home, school and community.

Made possible through the support of the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, the effort will focus first on tools for families in Detroit. Beginning late summer, jointly-developed trainings will begin that equip parents and community members to utilize available tools and resources.

Passed in fall 2016, Michigan’s ‘read by grade three’ law requires that schools and school districts identify struggling readers, create and implement a plan to improve reading, and communicate clearly with parents about reading progress. Beginning with the 2019-20 school year, students who are not at- or near-proficiency in third-grade reading may be subject to retention.

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Detroit Parent Network is a network of parents working to build and engage parents and others to ensure every child has a champion. Parents are the driving force ensuring conditions exist for metro-Detroit children to thrive. Detroit Parent Network is organized around core values: resourceful, empathetic, dedicated and empowering.

The Education Trust-Midwest is a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization dedicated to improving outcomes for all Michigan students, especially for African American, Latino, American Indian, and low-income students. The Education Trust-Midwest believes in the power of intelligent education policy and practices — informed by data, research, and the successes of other states — to make Michigan a top ten education state for all students.   •