New Britain Named All-America City Second Year in a Row
For the second year in a row, the National Civic League has named the City of New Britain an “All-America City” in recognition of the community’s efforts to boost school attendance, stem summer learning loss, and increase grade-level reading skills—particularly among low-income families.
“We are extremely excited that the National Civic League has recognized the efforts we are making—in partnership with a broad cross-section of stakeholders—in our community to improve the success rate of our students, both now and in the future,” said Mayor Erin Stewart. “Earning the recognition of an ‘All-America City’ two years in a row speaks volumes to the progress we are making.”
The efforts are led by the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth and a group that includes City officials, parents, educators, health and social service agencies, and other members who are committed to improving the lives of New Britain’s youth—from birth to age 24.
“Being recognized by the National Civic League and the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, for our work to improve the outcomes for the youth of New Britain two years in a row is truly an honor,” said Robin Sparks, Executive Director of the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth. “Collaborating across sectors to tackle problems in a community is not easy, but New Britain has shown that when the community commits to working collectively, we can make a difference.”
Research has shown that when children reach at proficient levels by the third grade, they are more likely to complete high school, become better prepared for college and a career.
“Every educator and staff member of the Consolidated School District of New Britain has much to be proud of. We work hard every day to make our student experience as rewarding as it can be,” said Nancy Sarra, Superintendent of the Consolidated School District of New Britain. “This validation of our efforts will work wonders in our classrooms and in the living rooms of families throughout the community as we continue to set new standards of excellence in all that we do for our children.”
Twenty-seven communities from across the country were in the running to receive the coveted All-America City Award—America’s oldest and most prestigious community recognition. This year, the National Civic League worked with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to recognize communities that have made measurable progress for low-income children in the areas of school readiness, school attendance, summer learning, and grade-level reading: all key drivers for student success.
From 2013 to 2016, the number of low-income kindergarten students scoring in Performance Band 1 on the NWEA Reading Assessment increased from 30.4 percent to 41.8 percent. The number of first-grade students who were chronically absent declined from 25.1 percent in 2011-12 to 13.3 percent in the 2015-16 school year. Additional indicators show that there was a decrease in summer learning loss amongst participants in the school system’s Summer Enrichment Experience, and an increase in grade-level reading proficiency amongst second graders.
The All-America City Award finalists travelled to Denver, Colo., June 14 to 16 to share the efforts and strategies they have used to improvement student successes. Fifteen finalists were announced on Friday.
On June 19, 2016, the National Civic League first named New Britain one of only 10 towns and cities from across the country a 2016 “All-America City” based on partnerships in the community that have led to reducing chronic absenteeism among students, a decline in youth obesity rates, and a drop in summer learning loss.