Every Child Reads — Jones County
Prepared for school, prepared for life
A child’s first eight years are the best time to foster positive development, support academic achievement and prepare for a lifetime of success.
We do this by taking a holistic approach to children’s well-being with a keen focus on a key predictor of school success: Reading proficiency by the end of third grade.
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Why it matters
Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is one of the key predictors of high school graduation. However, only about 53% of third-graders in Jones County meet this benchmark. That number falls to 32% for children from low-income families. In our rural community, many children lack access to supports that would enable them to increase their academic success, preparing them for college, careers and active citizenship.
Our unique role
Hosted by the Jones County Community Foundation, the Campaign builds on the organization’s strengths: Forging relationships and convening community partners to transform the systems that serve people.
We facilitate a multi-sector network to share resources and chart a course to help children succeed. Together, we:
- Build community awareness of children’s academic and social-emotional needs.
- Provide a unified vision and strategy to improve academic success and child well-being inside and outside the classroom.
- Fund child- and family-focused initiatives by utilizing existing financial resources and offering a way for generous community members to give in support of children’s well-being.
- Collect local data to inform our work.
How it works
Our work is informed by the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and focuses on four areas that serve as the foundation of academic achievement: School attendance, school readiness, summer learning and access to books. By analyzing local data, our network of partners can identify the needs of children and families and develop a plan and goals to address them.
- Partner with schools to distribute books with free summer lunches
- Support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which mails free children’s books to families monthly
- Developed a community solutions action plan that outlines goals related to our focus areas
- Helped establish the first Storywalk in Jones County to promote community-based learning
- Partnered with local public libraries to add books to their collections that increase representation of diverse populations and experiences through their stories and characters
- Partnered with local nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace to distribute free books with the organization’s free bed program for children
- Facilitated solutions to chronic absenteeism by connecting school administrators and partnering with the county attorney’s office to develop and reform policies and practices
“The purpose of this initiative is to provide an opportunity for our community to come together to ensure that every child is successful in school and in life."