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Our Story2019-06-19T11:47:10+00:00
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volunteers
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Our History and Mission

After much prayer and research, the Christ Together Greater Austin leaders decided to focus on addressing the systemic problem of 3rd grade literacy. Leaders in education research for Central Texas identified 3rd grade literacy as one of four systemic problems facing our community. Research identified that from kindergarten to 3rd grade a child learns to read. From 3rd grade on a child reads to learn. If a child is behind grade level at the end of 3rd grade his/her academic and economic future is not promising.

With over 200 elementary schools located in Greater Austin, the need to reach every child is great. As a faith based community, we have an opportunity to partner a Church with each school, reading to children one-on-one, while supporting educators as they help children to learn and grow. So far, 280+ Churches, community organizations, and school partnerships have started in the Greater Austin area with hundreds of Literacy Partners and Mentors making an impact in the lives of children.

Education Connection is a part of Christ Together Greater Austin, specifically under “acts of service”.

Our mission is simple …every child reading by the end of 3rd grade.

Our mission is guided by three principles:

  1. Humility – not bringing in our own agenda. We strive to be a support to the schools, classrooms, and children.
  2. Consistency – making a volunteer commitment for a school year of service. Truly using one’s servant heart to honor constant reading with children.
  3. Simplicity – “Elaborate Simplicity” – the idea being that Education Connection needs to be something that imposes little on the schools/teachers and simple enough that a willing volunteer without “teacher training” can do and will make a difference to the child.

Please note, while this is an effort that arose from Christian Churches, it is not at all about proselytizing. Volunteers understand and are trained in how to be community servants and not to bring religious beliefs into their work in the schools.

Testimonials

Austin ISD 

Keep up the great work! Very glad to partner with volunteers who understand the needs of the students and are able to help them to understand the power and love of reading. – Teacher

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The process is very rewarding and I enjoy reading to children. My kids were very willing and enjoyed reading with me and we learned a lot in the process. – Literacy Partner

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I love this program! I believe it’s an absolutely powerful and effective approach to changing every child that participates life forever.

– Literacy Partner

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Del Valle ISD 

It was a pleasure to participate in this wonderful experience. Thanks! – Teacher

The students loved their independent time to read with someone. They looked forward to reading and sharing books with their reading partner. Thank you for providing us with volunteers. – Teacher

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I found this really beneficial for my student. – Teacher

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Georgetown ISD 

I think the program is very organized and easy to participate. – Literacy Partner

My students look forward to reading with their partners every week. – Teacher

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Lago Vista ISD

After students read with their reading buddy, they were confidant in reading – Teacher

I love this program.  It offers so much to our school and students! – School Coordinator

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I noticed considerable improvement in the students’ reading skills.  It was wonderful to have the volunteers reading each week with them–consistency is SO important.  – Teacher

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Lake Travis ISD

I have loved having Literacy Partners. They have gone above and beyond to make my students feel confident and excited about reading. -Teacher

The literacy partners were all very positive and my students looked forward to them visiting each week. – Teacher

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I liked reading with my Literacy Partner – Student

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I liked it all!!! – Student

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The key to this program is the Literacy Partner Coordinator. I have been lucky to have well organized partners. – Administrator

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Leander ISD

This is an amazing program! I was touched by how much it has impacted me and the student I read with! It’s such a small commitment, but it has a huge impact. – Literacy Partner

Your Content Goes Here, Your Content Goes Here

This is a wonderful program and allows students to get the extra practice they need! Having other adults read with them is a great way for them to interact with others and develop strong positive relationships. – Teacher

Your Content Goes Here, Your Content Goes Here

Thank you so much for assisting our school! Our students and families benefit so much because of your efforts! – Leadership

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I didn’t like reading before, but now I like to! – Student

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I think it’s fun because I don’t usually like to read, but I like reading with you, because we get to imagine a lot. – Student

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Liberty Hill ISD

This is my first year as school coordinator. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I love the program and the benefits for our students. I have had nothing but positive feedback from teachers and students. – School Coordinator

The program is fantastic and runs super smoothly at our school. The Education Connection staff are professional and timely and wonderful to work with! Love this program! – Leadership

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Thanks to Education Connection staff for making the process organized and easy to follow. – Literacy Partner

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Manor ISD 

I truly enjoy watching the students I have the honor of reading to grow in their passion for reading – Literacy Partner

Partnering with Education Connection is a true blessing for our students and our schools – District Leadership

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Marble Falls ISD 

This is my second year with Education Connection. I find the experience very gratifying and enjoy my time with the children, who also seem to look forward to our time together. – Literacy Partner

My librarian and her liaison did all of the work. They communicated well with each other and the directives were given to the front desk in an organized notebook. The literacy partners were friendly and consistent.– Leadership

Your Content Goes Here, Your Content Goes Here

It was a great experience. The Literacy Partners were professional, encouraging, and very helpful. The program helped my students with their fluency and confidence in reading independently. – Teacher

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Pflugerville ISD

Our reader was present, on-time every single week this year. He was wonderful with all three of my students who had the privilege of reading with him. Sometimes, he would even bring his own books based on my students’ interests. I can’t thank him enough for making such a positive impact in their lives. It truly was wonderful! – Teacher

I love this program! I believe it’s an absolutely powerful and effective approach to changing every child that participates life forever. I’m currently unable to commit to more time but I’m sharing with everyone I meet. Thanks again for allowing me to share in this effort.– Literacy Partner

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Round Rock ISD

The literacy partners have made a positive impact on our campus and we want to continue with this worthy program. – Leadership

We love this program on our campus! Our partners are amazing – they are always here for the students. Our partners have the opportunity to build confidence, encourage a love for reading and serve as a positive role model. The program has a powerful, positive impact on our students! We appreciate their efforts! – School Coordinator

Your Content Goes Here, Your Content Goes Here

I love how the Literacy Partners are trained to read with the kiddos and are able to keep them engaged and excited about reading. I also like how they bring books that are about things that that specific kiddo is interested in. – Teacher

Your Content Goes Here, Your Content Goes Here

It has been a great experience and I enjoy reading with children. I feel like it’s very well organized. – Literacy Partner

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