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Jones Trust Provides Grant to Extend and Expand Mobilizing Literacy Programs

A recent commitment from the W.S. & E.C. Jones Trust for $2.5 million to the Mobilizing Literacy grant program will continue and expand upon literacy initiatives benefitting children within the region. Over the next five years, this grant, coordinated by Emporia State’s Kansas Masonic Literacy Center, will expand efforts to improve grade-level reading attainment for the 11 participating school districts within the tri-county region of Coffey, Lyon and Osage counties.

Since the initial grant in 2016, Mobilizing Literacy has partnered with these 11 area districts to improve school readiness, summer learning and attendance, focusing efforts on pre-kindergarten through third-grade students. With the latest grant, those efforts will expand in scope with the same key mission — providing area youth the tools necessary to be successful students.

The new grant will maintain all prior initiatives and offer more robust Parents as Teachers programming, with efforts like an increased focus on family engagement, expanding daycare options for parents, lowering the teacher-student ratio in pre-kindergarten classrooms and more.

One key effort made possible by the integral partnership with ESU will be the addition of one-to-one tutoring services provided by Emporia State education students. These future teachers will provide area children highly personalized additional support to reach grade-level benchmarks.

“Mobilizing Literacy is working hard to ensure an entire generation of area children have all the resources they need to succeed and thrive,” said ESU President Allison D. Garrett. “This kind of generational change will benefit more than these children; it will benefit the communities on the whole. But it isn’t easy to accomplish. We are grateful to the W.S. & E.C. Jones Trust for making the sustained investment necessary to make this work possible.”