Haverhill Promise Hosting Early Literacy ‘Huddle’ Aug. 21 at Downtown iHub

Haverhill Promise campaign director Jenny Arndt during a 2019 appearance with WHAV's Win Damon. (WHAV News photograph.)

Listen to the full interview below.

Haverhill Promise is getting ready to huddle up for early literacy—and want the community to join in! Jenny Arndt, the group’s new campaign director, joined WHAV’s last week to share more about the event happening next Wednesday, Aug. 21 at the downtown UMass iHub.

At the free event, Arndt and other Haverhill Promise stakeholders—including state Rep. Andy Vargas and Haverhill Public Schools physician Dr. John Maddox—plan to launch a new social media campaign encouraging locals to “make a promise to support grade level reading” in Haverhill.

As Arndt told WHAV’s Win Damon during a “Win for Breakfast” interview on Aug. 9, the effort to get all city schoolchildren reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade is a collaborative task.

“We’re calling it a huddle because we really want people to understand this work is a team effort,” Arndt said.

Arndt emphasized the particular importance of getting disadvantaged children reading at a younger age, highlighting the fact that “80 percent percent of economically challenged students are not reading at grade level by that benchmark.”

Drawing on her own experiences as a lifelong Haverhill resident, Arndt said in her observation many families stay in the city for multiple generations. Subsequently, time invested in younger Hillies should reap rewards for years to come.

At the 6:30 p.m. Haverhill Promise Huddle event, organizers will offer an update on the group’s progress since launching in summer 2018 and host breakout sessions around the three pillars of school attendance, school readiness and summer learning.

Light refreshments and free childcare will be provided, Arndt said.

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