National Civic League Names New Britain 2017 All America City Finalist for 2nd Year


April 28, 2017

City of New Britain Named All-America City Finalist for Second Year in a Row

NEW BRITAIN—For the second year in a row, the National Civic League has named the City of New Britain an “All-America City” finalist in recognition of the community’s efforts to boost school attendance, stem summer learning loss, and increase grade-level reading skills.
“We are excited that the National Civic League has recognized the innovative and measurable efforts we have undertaken to make sure that students are well prepared for the rigors of the classroom so that they are successful there and beyond,” said Mayor Erin Stewart. “It is an honor to be recognized by the National Civic League two years in a row for the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children.”
Twenty-seven communities from across the country are currently 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 is working 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.
“One of the things that New Britain has done very well is develop strong partnerships with the school system and community organizations to reduce absenteeism and boost reading levels. These partnerships have helped us to integrate our work in unique ways that benefit our children,” said Robin Lamott Sparks, Executive Director of the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth.
Nancy Sarra, Superintendent for the Consolidated School District of New Britain, said, “It is truly an honor to be named an All-America City finalist for a second consecutive year. This recognition affirms that the collective impact of our city residents can accomplish great things. I am proud to lead the school district and partner with the Mayor and the Coalition to make brighter outcomes for our students.”
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 among participants in the school system’s Summer Enrichment Experience, and an increase in grade-level reading proficiency among second graders.
The All-America City Award finalists will travel to Denver, Colo., June 14 to 16 to share the efforts and strategies they have used to improvement student successes. Finalists will be announced on June 16 at the gathering.
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.