Mississippi Association of Partners in Education #PartnershipPower
2016 Partnership Excellence Award
Pascagoula-Gautier School District and Jerry Lee’s Grocery Store, Pascagoula Walmart, Kiwanis Club of Pascagoula, Gautier Rotary Club, local child care facilities and local businesses - Campaign to raise community awareness of the “Third Grade Reading Gate" to improve student test performance
Students impacted: 4,000 Volunteers: 176 Duration of partnership: 2 years
The Mississippi State Legislature passed the Literacy-Based Promotion Act, better known as the “Third Grade Reading Gate,” a test which all third grade students would be required to pass to be promoted to fourth grade. The Pascagoula- Gautier School District rolled out a campaign to ramp up the community’s literacy awareness to make reading a priority focus across the district, especially in PreK-3.
Activities: • Community awareness campaign - READ! READ! READ! yard signs and posters • High school and middle school students volunteered to read with third-graders • Student councils in grades 5-12 held book drives, collecting more than 2,500 books • Organized after-school tutoring for at-risk children • iReady reading curriculum added to enhance reading drills and skills • Testing Pep Rallies held before Reading Gate test • Book and dictionary donations by Kiwanis Club of Pascagoula, Gautier Rotary Club • Home visits to inform and engage parents of at-risk students • Little Libraries program - The school district vocation carpentry class constructed 12 small structures that were placed around town and loaded with books so children have access to books 24/7 even when school was not open.
Impacts • Of 532 third graders taking inaugural Third Grade Reading Gate test, 95.7% passed • Pass rate increased to 99% on second try six weeks later • A total of 176 community citizens participated in the READ! READ! READ! program along with 153 middle and high school students