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Scholastic and the Council of the Great City Schools Names Detroit Public Schools Community District as the Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion

NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education, and media company, together with the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS), a coalition of 78 of the nation's largest urban public-school systems, announced Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) as the winner of the Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award.

Named in honor of the late Scholastic Chairman and CEO, this annual award recognizes a CGCS member school district for demonstrated progress in advancing reading achievement with the goal of further supporting gains by increasing access to digital and print books, magazines, and materials within the district.

Students in DPSCD have achieved the highest literacy proficiency in over a decade, and district officials credit this improvement to a commitment by educators to nurturing and fostering a strong literacy foundation for every student. Specifically, in 2023, DPSCD reported significant gains in English Language Arts in grades 3-8 on the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) – surpassing pre-pandemic results. In addition, the district has provided access to committed school support, high-quality curriculum materials that are culturally relevant, and research-based reading intervention programs.

"It's a privilege to commemorate Dick Robinson's legacy as a champion of children's literacy by presenting this award to such a high-achieving district," said Beth Polcari, Executive Vice President and President, Scholastic Education Solutions. "Dr. Nikolai Vitti, the committed educators and professionals of the Detroit Public Schools Community District deserve to be celebrated for the outstanding strides they've taken to ensure both education and empowerment for students. Access to books in classrooms, homes and combating the summer learning loss, as research continually proves is important for building foundational reading skills in this next generation of readers. Our Kids & Family Reading Report™ has shown parents agree every child needs access to books and this award will continue to build upon Detroit's commitment to children's literacy. On behalf of Scholastic, we are proud to partner to build a stronger Detroit."

As part of the Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award prizing, DPSCD has selected Mason Academy to receive a library makeover. This spring, Mason Academy will receive a donation of more than 6,000 high-quality, age-appropriate books, a one-year site license to Scholastic Literacy Pro®, an award-winning blended learning program that provides 24/7 access to more than 2,500 fiction and nonfiction e-books for purposeful independent reading, allowing personalized student choice while providing teachers with real-time data to inform instruction. In addition, every enrolled student will receive a summer book pack of 10 titles to take home and own, encouraging independent reading beyond the classroom.

"The Council is excited to partner with Scholastic to present the Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award to the Detroit Public Schools Community District, whose students have recently made progress in reading," said Council Executive Director Ray Hart. "Together, we will continue to advance the legacy of Scholastic Chairman and CEO Richard Robinson by supporting children's literacy and encouraging students to become lifelong readers. We thank Scholastic for their efforts to ensure equitable access to high-quality reading materials in the nation's urban schools and look forward to this award making a meaningful impact for the students and educators at Mason Academy."

"It is an honor not only to be recognized as a high achieving district within the Council, but it is also a point of pride to have one of our schools be designated for a makeover to continue to foster the love of reading with exciting updates and more books to read," said Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent, DPSCD. "We thank the Council and Scholastic for their continued support of our district but most importantly, supporting our students."