How school leaders build a

STRONG

community of readers

How school leaders build a

STRONG

community of readers

The foundation:
A Collective Impact Model

Literacy is key to the economic development and stability of every community. School and district leaders who form solid partnerships with community organizations can help ensure that students achieve consistent and substantial reading growth.

A Collective Impact Model, building on resources of community partners, sponsors, and reading champions, is a proven-effective strategy to focus attention on literacy and provide greater equity and access for all students.

classroom illustration

Why a Collective Impact Model and what makes it so effective?

Through a Collective Impact Model, school districts and community partners collaborate to set goals and share responsibility for literacy growth. Along with reducing a school’s financial load by providing additional funding and in-kind contributions, a Collective Impact Model helps:

open book reading

Support engagement in reading activities after school and during extended breaks

print and digital

Provide students at every level with greater access to print and digital books

bar graph hopping

Facilitate early literacy gains so students learn to read by the end of 3rd grade

graduate cap

Prepare students to graduate from high school ready for college, career, and life

What does a Collective Impact Model look like?

A community model may provide support for literacy during the school day and extend reading beyond the school day. It provides opportunities and supports for children and families to engage in literacy that may otherwise not be available. It saves time and resources, extending the effectiveness of reading practice by adding individuals and groups to help students and families access books and learn to use digital technology.

A project manager works with school leaders and community partners to provide guidance and coordinate moving parts, including professional development for teaching staff, librarians, and media specialist as well as volunteers. The project manager might also engage with stakeholders and handle internal and external communications, accountability, and reporting.

group meeting

Explore what an effective community model can look like

Boys and Girls Clubs


  • Provide students with opportunities for fun, authentic reading experiences after school and over the summer
  • Club leaders can use built-in supports to help emerging and struggling readers access engaging and age-appropriate digital content
  • Send a strong message that reading is an important and fun activity

Community Centers


  • Offer opportunities for students to read outside of school time
  • Promote literacy through parent workshops and family events
  • Unite visitors in a common vision for improved literacy

Housing Authority


  • Provides free Wi-Fi in center locations so families can access digital books for shared reading experiences
  • Offers equity of access to digital resources for school-aged children to complete school assignments and engage in independent reading at home
  • Shares resources needed to foster a culture of literacy and a love of reading

Public Library


  • Promote the importance of reading with children of all ages
  • Introduce appropriate print and digital resources to children and families
  • Provide login instructions and tips for online and offline reading of digital books on shared computers throughout the library

YMCA


  • Incorporate reading into other activities by projecting digital books on a big screen
  • Offer information on literacy tools and resources to families
  • Provide opportunities for children to read at their sites, including using shared computers and WI-FI to access digital books

Computer Lab


  • Offer literacy time during which students can read just-right books that match their interests, grade, and reading level
  • Provide opportunities for students to work on projects assigned by their teachers
  • Enable students to sharpen their digital literacy skills through purposeful activities

Science Center


  • Offer opportunities for classes to engage in science projects and extension activities that include further reading on topics of interest
  • Provide digital and print resources for science camps to introduce or extend learning around hands-on activities
  • Introduce or expand student engagement with authoritative, nonfiction text that includes graphs, charts, analytic data, cross-sectional illustrations, and diagrams

Before and After School Programs


  • Enable students to read independently
  • Supplement classroom learning and extend the school day
  • Incorporate literacy into other activities to further engage students in reading

Early Learning and Pre-K


  • Encourage read aloud time at home and at daycare centers to improve phonics and foster reading readiness skills
  • Provide access to a variety of picture books, song books, traditional nursery rhymes, alphabet books, books about colors, community helpers, and other early literacy topics
  • Engage families in early literacy activities and provide supports for reading with young children, even if there is not a proficient adult reader in the home

Homeschool Environments


  • Provide access to a wide variety of print and digital texts that can support the curriculum and provide opportunities for extending the lesson
  • Encourage children to engage in reading age-appropriate, just-right books that match their interests and reading level
  • Offer opportunities for children to take ownership over their reading and learning by providing visibility into metrics that monitor their reading growth

Tutoring Centers


  • Provide access to fiction and nonfiction texts that provide the extra practice needed to strengthen literacy skills
  • Establish a practice of helping students read across the curriculum to further support the development of literacy skills and content knowledge
  • Encourage a mix of print and digital resources to increase the amount of reading materials available to students and tutors

Summer School


  • Supplement traditional summer school classes with projects that integrate literacy resources across the curriculum
  • Incorporate participation in games and activities aligned with a theme and books
  • Provide access to books and foster awareness of the importance of summer reading among families

Explore what an effective community model can look like

Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Provide students with opportunities for fun, authentic reading experiences after school and over the summer
  • Club leaders can use built-in supports to help emerging and struggling readers access engaging and age-appropriate digital content
  • Send a strong message that reading is an important and fun activity
Community Centers
  • Offer opportunities for students to read outside of school time
  • Promote literacy through parent workshops and family events
  • Unite visitors in a common vision for improved literacy
Housing Authority
  • Provides free Wi-Fi in center locations so families can access digital books for shared reading experiences
  • Offers equity of access to digital resources for school-aged children to complete school assignments and engage in independent reading at home
  • Shares resources needed to foster a culture of literacy and a love of reading
Public Library
  • Promote the importance of reading with children of all ages
  • Introduce appropriate print and digital resources to children and families
  • Provide login instructions and tips for online and offline reading of digital books on shared computers throughout the library
YMCA
  • Incorporate reading into other activities by projecting digital books on a big screen
  • Offer information on literacy tools and resources to families
  • Provide opportunities for children to read at their sites, including using shared computers and WI-FI to access digital books
Computer Lab
  • Offer literacy time during which students can read just-right books that match their interests, grade, and reading level
  • Provide opportunities for students to work on projects assigned by their teachers
  • Enable students to sharpen their digital literacy skills through purposeful activities
Science Center
  • Offer opportunities for classes to engage in science projects and extension activities that include further reading on topics of interest
  • Provide digital and print resources for science camps to introduce or extend learning around hands-on activities
  • Introduce or expand student engagement with authoritative, nonfiction text that includes graphs, charts, analytic data, cross-sectional illustrations, and diagrams
Before and After School Programs
  • Enable students to read independently
  • Supplement classroom learning and extend the school day
  • Incorporate literacy into other activities to further engage students in reading
Early Learning and Pre-K
  • Encourage read aloud time at home and at daycare centers to improve phonics and foster reading readiness skills
  • Provide access to a variety of picture books, song books, traditional nursery rhymes, alphabet books, books about colors, community helpers, and other early literacy topics
  • Engage families in early literacy activities and provide supports for reading with young children, even if there is not a proficient adult reader in the home
Homeschool Environments
  • Provide access to a wide variety of print and digital texts that can support the curriculum and provide opportunities for extending the lesson
  • Encourage children to engage in reading age-appropriate, just-right books that match their interests and reading level
  • Offer opportunities for children to take ownership over their reading and learning by providing visibility into metrics that monitor their reading growth
Tutoring Centers
  • Provide access to fiction and nonfiction texts that provide the extra practice needed to strengthen literacy skills
  • Establish a practice of helping students read across the curriculum to further support the development of literacy skills and content knowledge
  • Encourage a mix of print and digital resources to increase the amount of reading materials available to students and tutors
Summer School
  • Supplement traditional summer school classes with projects that integrate literacy resources across the curriculum
  • Incorporate participation in games and activities aligned with a theme and books
  • Provide access to books and foster awareness of the importance of summer reading among families

Watch examples of community models in action

Hillsborough County Public Schools

Discover how the Hillsborough County Public Schools formed a coalition of partners to promote reading throughout their community. Hear firsthand about how they collaborate to provide equitable access to digital books to promote reading and increase literacy rates.

Watch video


Mission Consolidated Independent School District

See how the Mission Consolidated Independent School District made literacy an inclusive, community imperative. While meeting students’ needs, the district is working to address the 50% illiteracy rate among adults through a community-wide literacy partnership with neighboring cities.

Watch video

How Renaissance supports strong community partnerships

When community leaders and organizations want to support reading initiatives, they look for proof of effectiveness. Schools count on our proven-effective personalized reading practice, now enhanced with 24/7 access to a digital library offering as many as 13,000 books.


Renaissance products on devices

Renaissance products, used together, provide a complete literacy growth solution that motivates students with print and digital access, measures literacy skills, and monitors progress toward state-specific standards.

See how it all works together