All-American City

The City of Worcester, Massachusetts has a long and proud history as a community that
embodies the founding principles of the American Spirit. From its foundations as an agrarian
New England community in the 17th and 18th centuries to its rapid growth at the center of the
Industrial Revolution to its current position as a leader in Massachusetts’ growing biomedical
and service economies, Worcester epitomizes the growth and progression of America and the
American City.
Since 1949, when the National Civic League first issued the designation, Worcester has been
named an All-American City five times: in 1949, 1960, 1965, 1980 and 2000. Seven other cities
share this five-time distinction, the most of any All-American awardees. The designation of an
All-American City award recognizes a community’s dedication to civic engagement, innovative
leadership and transformational action. Worcester’s All-American designations over the past six
decades are a testament to her enduring embodiment of American progress.
In 2016, Leadership Worcester graduated its newest class of community leaders. Sponsored by
the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the Worcester Regional Chamber of
Commerce, Leadership Worcester offers training and skill development to inspire Worcester’s
future leaders and create a network of individuals who can move the region and each other
forward. Recognizing that the City of Worcester has experienced an inspiring revival in the past
decade, members of Leadership Worcester 2016 sought to convene a group to apply once again
for the All-American City award.
The 2017 All-American City award is conferred by the National Civic League in partnership with
the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Criteria for award winners include a display of
measurable progress in early-education priority areas: school readiness, summer learning,
grade-level reading and attendance. To address these specific criteria, Leadership Worcester
partnered with Edward Street Child Services, an organization dedicated to improving quality
early education in the Worcester community. Leading organizations focused on early education
were convene for a community discussion held at the Tatnuck Elementary School library, one of
the Worcester Public Library’s One City, One Library neighborhood branches. With help from
many partner organizations and community contributors, Worcester submitted the following
application for the 2017 All-American City award marking significant progress in early childhood

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