Our Story2019-02-19T12:33:29+00:00
minutes reading

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.


Austin ISD 

As a volunteer, I noticed that the kids were very excited to see us there.  This was evident when the kids would get up from their chair when they saw me at the door before their teacher could even call them to come out to read. – Literacy Partner

When I signed up, I had no idea how much I would love working with my reading buddies! – Literacy Partner

I am grateful for the program. My students were always waiting for the readers to come. I really appreciate their support and kindness. – Teacher

Thank you for working with our students. We value your partnership! We are every so grateful and appreciative. – Principal

This has been such a positive experience for our students and staff.  Thank you!  The volunteers who have been at our school are truly amazing people and volunteers. – School Coordinator

Del Valle ISD 

Great experience working with our Literacy Partner Coordinator and our volunteers. – School Coordinator

Lake Travis ISD

I love the opportunity this program provides for me to share my love of reading and to watch the students bloom as they grow fearless in tackling new words. – Literacy Partner

Students were eager each week.  Teachers were very cooperative and always allowed my 15 minutes with each student, even if late returning to classroom after recess.  I did notice improvement with each student. – Literacy Partner

We love our volunteers. They make such a difference. – Principal

Students really enjoy reading with their literacy partner.  I have participated for three years and each year it has been very positive and beneficial. – Teacher

Thank you for taking time to volunteer and read with our students! Your time is valuable and appreciated! – Teacher

Leander ISD

The program is a vital part of our literacy instruction, and students benefit greatly from the experience. – Teacher

I appreciate the time and service the literacy partners provide to our students. It is truly heartwarming to see the excitement in the children’s faces when they work with their literacy partner. Thank you! – School Counselor

The program is beautifully organized, ably staffed, and very much appreciated by the staff and students. – Principal

I think this is a rewarding program for students. I am very happy to have found this program to volunteer with. – Literacy Partner

I think the program is a wonderful one, one that really can make a positive difference in the life of a child.  It is a privilege to be able to serve in this way. – Mentor

Liberty Hill ISD

It was perfect!  My administration does a great job of organizing the program. She makes it run very smooth for her teachers.  We have to do very little work on our end.  The kids absolutely love reading with a partner every week! – Teacher

My end of the program was simple and straightforward.  I signed in/out the people coming in to read.  They were always here on time and always smiling!  It was a joy helping each and every one of them! – School Receptionist

I have nothing but good things to say.  This was an easy project to get started on our campus. Thank you for the opportunity. – School Coordinator

This is a really great program and the kids are so eager to learn more. I look forward to it each week and I know the kids enjoy it too. – Literacy Partner

This is a fabulous help for teachers.  Please continue! – Teacher

Manor ISD 

Students are reading with greater confidence and with expression. Literacy Partner

I love this program. – Literacy Partner

Thanks for helping out! – Teacher

Marble Falls ISD 

I loved how my Literacy Partner communicated with me when she was not able to make their scheduled time. – Teacher

The program is terrific and I look forward to being involved again.  Thanks for all the hard work done by many to make these opportunities for kids and adults. – Literacy Partner

Excellent Program! – Principal

We’ve had an extremely successful first year and plan to build upon those successes in following years.  We’re excited to expand our partnership to our other two elementary schools.  Thank you for all your help and support throughout the year. – District Personnel

I appreciate your, Education Connection, hard work in making this program a success and helping children that may not get help at home.  Thanks. – Literacy Partner

Pflugerville ISD

My Literacy Partners were so helpful and eager to promote reading in our students. They went above and beyond our expectations. This was my first experience with Education Connection and it was such a wonderful experience. – Teacher

I appreciate my students being able to read with someone other than myself or their parent. – Teacher

Education Connection is WONDERFUL! – Principal

I loved this program for our school. Our readers have been so awesome! Please continue to partner with us. Thank you again. – School Receptionist

We were short a few volunteers for 3 classrooms. I wish that our last 3 rooms could’ve gotten volunteers.  Overall, this is an amazing partnership and is so simple to maintain and setup.  Our Literacy Partner Coordinator is absolutely wonderful to work with! – School Coordinator

Round Rock ISD

We appreciate the investment in our learning community demonstrated by our Lit Partners! The students enjoyed meeting with their partner along with the growth made in their reading skills! – School Counselor

I LOVE the program and will look at ways I can keep it growing at my school! – Literacy Partner Coordinator

I think that everyone does an amazing job with consistency, communication, efficiency.  Everything seemed to go very smooth from what I was able to see.  You have great volunteers! – District Personnel

Having literacy partners are beneficial to the improvement in my students confidence in reading. – Teacher

I absolutely love the Literacy Partners program. A lot of my students do not read at home which makes progress very difficult to achieve. Having reading partners come in every week increases my students’ accuracy, comprehension, fluency, and love of reading. – Teacher