Haverhill Promise Receives National Pacesetter Honors for Book Buddies Partnership

Haverhill Promise Director Jessica Kallin. (Courtesy photograph.)

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Haverhill Promise is being honored by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading with Pacesetter Honors for its 2022-23 work.

Haverhill Promise Executive Director Jessica Kallin said Monday the award recognizes the group’s partnership with Book Buddies.

“Through our collaborative efforts, Haverhill Promise has worked to increase engagement in our community to collectively promote literacy and foster meaningful relationships,” she said. “Our partnership with Book Buddies has underscored the transformative power of fostering intergenerational connections through the shared joy of reading. With the support of nearly 500 volunteers in Haverhill and our wonderful teachers and schools, we can pave the path for a brighter future, one handwritten letter and book at a time.”

Haverhill Book Buddies founder Matt Webel added, “In three short years, Book Buddies has shattered our expectations. Students, who get brand new books that they’ve requested and handwritten letters from their buddies, know they’re supported and valued. We’re indebted to our teachers and support staff for their participation and to the hundreds of volunteers who go above and beyond all expectations to impact reading outcomes for these children.”

Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Grade-Level Reading said Monday its theme this year is “Moving the Needle in Impact Areas.” Managing Director Ralph Smith said, “It indeed is time to move the needle in impact areas and these Pacesetter Communities demonstrate how mobilized communities are succeeding. Let us all learn and grow from recognizing and understanding what they’ve accomplished. We applaud the civic leaders and local funders whose time, talent, energy and imagination have fueled progress in these Pacesetter Communities.”

The Campaign is a collaborative effort by funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. It focuses on promoting early school success as an important building block of more hopeful futures for children in economically challenged families and communities.

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