MAY 2019

From the Director

Summer break is upon us and our partners want to make sure all kids in Georgia—especially our most vulnerable children—eat healthy, stay safe, and continue to learn when school’s out. helps families find summer meal sites (a growing number of which are located at public libraries), library programming, summer learning programs, digital libraries, and much more.

Please help us spread the word. Download our virtual billboard and flyer to share on your website and social media platforms. And share stories, photos, and videos that show how families are incorporating these tools into everyday life using the hashtag #SchoolsOutGA.

With gratitude,

#GetGAReading this Month

Please share this post on your own social media platforms this month.

Kids still need to eat, learn, & stay safe when school’s out. Please send parents & caregivers in your community to, where they can access a variety of helpful resources—all in one place. #SchoolsOutGA

We also encourage you to update your Facebook cover photo and Twitter header photo to promote on social media.


Building on the work of the Campaign, Gov. Brian Kemp is creating a Literacy Council to align and coordinate efforts to promote birth-through-third-grade literacy. He is prioritizing teacher recruitment and retention with funding to support increases in teacher pay in the 2020 budget. To increase quality in early learning programs, Kemp will advance policies and incentives to increase the number of Quality Rated centers and is creating a language and literacy endorsement for Quality Rated programs. Learn More


Ellen Petree promotes early literacy development in the youngest Barrow County residents in targeted populations. She recruited partners to create the Barrow Book Partnership, which distributes free, age-appropriate books and registers individuals for library cards. Petree is the driving force behind raising funds to extend and enhance the program. She organizes book drives, recruits volunteers, and has dedicated herself to giving the 0 – 5 population a fighting chance at future success in school and in life.

Georgians Have Access to Thousands of Digital Books

Renaissance myON is delivering free books to your computer and mobile devices through Aug. 31. Search from more than 50 different categories and genres, including books for struggling readers and Spanish and bilingual titles. Send us reviews, videos, and photos—and use the hashtags #GetGAReading and #myON on social media. We're challenging Georgians to read for 1 million minutes this summer.

Atlanta Creates Nation’s Largest “Food Forest”

Atlanta residents will soon have greater access to fresh food, thanks to a 7.1-acre public “food forest.” A vacant property will be converted into green space that features fruit-producing trees, shrubs, and vines, walking trails, a community garden, and restored forest and stream-side areas. Residents will pick produce free of charge. Learn how and why Georgia’s first food forest was formed.

Preventing Maternal and Infant Mortality in Rural Georgia

Mercer’s School of Medicine received $5.5 million in federal funding to support South Georgia Healthy Start, a new five-year program that seeks to prevent maternal and infant mortality in seven rural Georgia counties. Georgia ranks in the top five states with the highest infant mortality rates and No. 1 for maternal mortality. Find out which communities have the highest rates—and the program’s goals in these regions.

Dougherty County School-Based Health Clinics Grow

Dougherty County Schools and Albany Area Primary Health Care work together to address non-academic needs—such as food, vision, and oral, physical, and mental health—that can prevent children from learning. The district's five health clinics include the only comprehensive school-based vision center in the southeast, where children can receive vision screenings and eyeglasses in one location. These clinics take a “pre-emptive approach” to health care.

Plan a Successful Summer Learning Program

Afterschool Alliance, National After School Association, and National Summer Learning Association teamed up to produce a three-part webinar series focused on summer learning program preparation. Learn about best practices for an effective program along with adaptable tools and planning resources, take a deeper dive into staffing and professional development, and explore strategies for creating a warm and welcoming environment that helps kids thrive.

Absent from School: Understanding and Addressing Student Absenteeism

This new book offers a deep dive into solutions for chronic absenteeism. Explore strategies for measuring attendance, policies and programs that can improve attendance, and interventions designed to encourage students to be in school every day.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Learning System

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (GLR) launched a Learning for Impact and Improvement System to promote peer learning across the network’s more than 400 communities in 44 states. Partners in Georgia’s statewide and community campaigns are invited to join the GLR Learning for Impact and Improvement System to learn about what’s working to move the needle on early literacy, along with where and why—and share effective strategies.

GLR Learning Conversation: Moonshot Academy After-School Program

Tuesday, May 28, 3 p.m.
Learning Alliance is using afterschool and summer learning programs across the county to enhance literacy instruction and produce bigger and better outcomes for children. The Moonshot Academy program in Indian River, Fla., expands learning opportunities, helps struggling students catch up, and lets teachers try new strategies. Evaluation reports demonstrate a positive impact on reading proficiency. Register Now

Georgia Farm to School and Early Care and Education Summit

Friday – Saturday, June 7 – 8
Helms College, Macon
This annual summit, hosted by Georgia Organics and Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) , includes hands-on workshops, field trips, and education sessions. Schools, early care providers, and farms connect to increase children’s access to healthy meals and snacks while also expanding farm and gardening educational opportunities. Register Now


“Engaging Families: A Sure Bet!” National Family and Community Engagement Conference

Wednesday – Friday, July 10 – 12
Reno, Nev.
State leaders, school and district leaders, administrators, educators, community-based organizations, researchers and families will come together and focus on solutions that enhance and expand engagement and improve student success through family-school-community partnerships. Get ready to be immersed in a variety of examples of high-impact engagement work and leave with a stronger understanding of how family and community engagement is an essential element for student achievement and school improvement. Register Now


We Want to Hear From You

Our partners are the heroes in this work, and we want to help connect you with each other and with resources that can help you get even greater results. And we want to hear more stories. Please share yours with us so we can post it to Send your stories—or any questions about the Campaign—to Arianne Weldon at
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