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Williams Named as Community Coordinator for the Jackson County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

rachelwilliams2016-2The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (CFGD) is happy to announce that Rachel Williams has accepted the position of community coordinator for the Jackson County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

The Campaign works to ensure that all children succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. It focuses on an important predictor of school success and high school graduation: grade-level reading by the end of third grade. Partners in Jackson County came together in 2015 to become a Campaign community and have since created a Community Solutions Action Plan (CSAP), which focuses on strategies to boost school readiness, summer learning and attendance.

Some early successes of the Campaign in Jackson County include: new community events focused on literacy and increasing access to services; the implementation of a summer learning pilot program that served 160 students across the county in 2016; the development of “Books for Beginners,” a school readiness project implemented with local medical clinics; and a growing network of partners that are engaged and collecting data to measure progress.

The Jackson County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is made possible through a partnership with CFGD’s Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, with continued support from the Community Foundation of Jackson County (CFJC).

“We are so excited to have Rachel on board to continue the great work that has been started in our communities,” said Mary Jo Gothard, executive director of CFJC. “Her past experience will be an immense asset as we strive to move the needle in the three focus areas and help more students read at grade level.”

As the part-time community coordinator, Williams will focus on growing a network of strong partnerships with nonprofits and community leaders to implement the CSAP in order to improve outcomes for students. Williams also currently serves as the part-time coordinator for Community Partnerships for Protecting Children in Jones County—a role she will continue. Prior to that, she taught preschool and served as the early childhood director for the Anamosa Community School District. She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the Bradley University, with a Spanish concentration and special education endorsement. Her past experience with attendance strategies, summer learning and school readiness will benefit her as she guides the GLR Network in Jackson County to continue its great work.

The Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading was launched in 2011 by Every Child/Every Promise, in strategic alliance with CFGD. In 2014, CFGD received funding from an anonymous donor, which supports the Jackson County initiative and will support this part-time coordinator position.

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