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Our Story 2017-06-22T10:29:54+00:00
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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 at-risk 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 a difference 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 on grade level 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 perspectives into the literacy work.

Testimonials

Leander ISD

Mid-way through the year, one of my children reached grade-level reading for the first time. His teacher let me know, and then the child let me know and told me how happy he and his parents were for him. They sent me a note and a small gift of candy (it was right around Valentine’s Day). This was totally unexpected, but it was fun to be a part of his progress — and to see how his own family celebrated his improvement.

– Literacy Partner

Manor ISD

All children grew in their reading skills and comprehension.

– Teacher at Blake Manor Elementary

Improved comprehension, word recognition, punctuation, pronunciation, and projection of reading voice (increased confidence).

– Literacy Partner

Children were reading slow in the beginning and now their reading has improved. They are sounding out their words and ask questions if they are not understanding a word.

– Literacy Partner

Round Rock ISD

My child was reading a book to me entitled “I like to read.”  In the middle of the book he stopped and said, “You know, I like to read.  It is what you need to do to be smart, to get to the next level.  When I get to 5th grade I will be reading chapter books and I will be able to read any book in this library.”  What a delight to hear his vision for himself!!

– Literacy Partner

Having the Education Literacy Partners at Voigt has provided many of our children a wonderful opportunity to not only read with an adult but establish a connection as well.  Our children thrive with our Literacy Partners and look forward to their visit every week.

– Administrator at Voigt Elementary