Jackson County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
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 children for a lifetime of success.
The Jackson County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading does 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, 41% of third-graders across all four Jackson County school districts do not meet this benchmark, and children from low-income families are even further behind. (Nearly 48% of Jackson County students are considered low-income, as they qualify for free and reduced price lunch).
Many children who fall behind in school 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 Community Foundation of Jackson County, 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
- 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.
- Organized the first Storywalk in Jackson County to support community-based learning
- Established Jackson County’s first Little Free Library to provide free children’s books to families
- Established an annual summer learning program that has led to a 73% of students maintaining or increasing reading proficiency
- Partnered with local medical clinics to provide free children’s books for families coming for check-ups
- Partnered with Jackson County school districts to distribute free children’s books during events
- Partnered with local public, school and daycare libraries to add books to their collections that increase representation of diverse populations and experiences through their stories and characters
“Our daughter had more confidence after the Jackson County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading's Summer Adventure, and without that program I don’t know if she would be where she is now."