Start Smart Texas


Start Smart TexasIn 2019, Lubbock joined the Campaign for Grade Level Reading (CGLR) and became a Start Smart city. CGLR is a collaborative effort to improve reading proficiency and early school success for children from low-income families. In Lubbock, the local GLR campaign is supported by a partnership of Lubbock Area United Way, Lubbock ISD, Frenship ISD, and Lubbock-Cooper ISD.

The communities’ action plans address three underlying challenges that can keep young children, especially those from low-income families, from learning to read proficiently — school readiness, school attendance and summer learning. Membership in the GLR Network gives Lubbock access to experts and policymakers focused on early school success; assistance in addressing the challenges that keep many children from learning to read; and access to the online Community Learning for Impact & Improvement Platform (CLIP), which is designed to lower the barriers and costs associated with spreading information about what’s working, why and under what conditions.


Lubbock Area United Way hosted its first United We Read event in 2018. More than 500 volunteers read the book The Little Red Fort to 3,535 second-graders across the Lubbock, Frenship, Lubbock-Cooper, Shallowater, and New Deal Independent School Districts. Every child went home with a copy of the book and a craft, including 138 books in Spanish.

The purpose of the event was to highlight the value of students being grade-level readers by third grade. At this point, students who have not mastered basic reading skills will begin to fall behind in every area of study as classrooms shift from learning to read to reading to learn. The event also created a focus on the importance of parents reading with their children. 

We continue to build United We Read and strive for excellence in the coming years as this event reaches greater heights in Lubbock County. 

To find out more visit our United We Read page here.


In the spring, we partner with Lubbock ISD, Frenship ISD, Lubbock-Cooper ISD, Early Learning Centers, and the YWCA of Lubbock to encourage families to register for pre-k preschool. 

When children attend high-quality preschool or pre-k, they are...

  • more likely to succeed in school,
  • more likely to have a full-time job and consistent employment later in life, 
  • less likey to develop alcohol or drug problems, commit a felony, or go to prison.

Learn more about this initiative and how to register your student.