Lifting Up Jones County Youth and Families


The pandemic has had a significant impact on local youth, and communities are still working to understand the long-term effects. That’s why the Jones County Community Foundation is partnering with local organizations to address the most urgent needs of families and children. 

“Before the pandemic, 33% of students in our county were not reading proficiently by third grade, and that number has risen,” says Heather Weers, coordinator of Every Child Reads Jones County, a Foundation initiative. 

Every Child Reads distributed books to Jones County libraries to help meet children’s social-emotional needs. Weers connected with leaders to ensure students who needed summer lunches were also getting books to combat summer learning loss. 

“Supporting and encouraging youth programming is a top priority of the Community Foundation,” says Janet Martin, Foundation board chair. “We focus our grantmaking on programs and initiatives that address academic achievement, social-emotional wellness and access to food and child care.” 

A grant to Anamosa Lunches for Youth helped support weekend food bags for up to 70 kids of all ages in that community, where about 40% of students are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch. 

Child care is another area that continues to challenge families. The Foundation has made awards to providers to improve safety and security, support operations and staffing, and enhance learning experiences for youth. 

A gift to the Foundation can help make an impact for families and children in your community. Connect with us to learn more.