There’s a reading crisis in the United States that’s apparent in the metro Atlanta area. There’s an estimated one in six Georgians who have low literacy skills and 63% of Georgia’s third-graders are not reading on grade level. Literacy is a fundamental component of a thriving community and an underlying factor in so many other social issues like poverty, poor health, and incarceration. These associated social services cost Georgia’s taxpayers an estimated $1.3 billion annually.

In efforts to help our students in schools through South Fulton, we are committed to providing resources, working with our schools, and parents to ensure that our kids have access to explicit phonics instruction, rigorous reading and writing instruction and parents understand the tools needed to help their children at home.

Currently, we will have three initiatives to help our students:

We Are Readers Classroom Library Grants: These one-time grants are organized for classroom teachers to put books in the hands of students. Each semester, we are committed to offering book grants for K-8 teachers to purchase novels for their students. These book grants are selected via an application that opens on September 1, 2019.

Partnership for Literacy Workshops for Parents: A critical part of addressing our literacy crisis with our students is equipping our parents with tools to help students at home. Through a series of bi-monthly workshops, parents will receive help via resources to help identify and remediate ongoing issues around reading and writing. All workshops are open to the public and free for our parents.

Write from the Start Writing Workshops: According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 73.4% of employers want a candidate with strong written communication skills. To help prepare our students for the future, we are offering writing institutes for students in grades 6-12 to help give them practice on how to be strong writers AND how to transfer those skills to succeed in post-secondary opportunities. These institutes will range from Saturday workshops to week-long institutes curated for specific grade levels.

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