From the Director

Georgia’s focus on promoting positive learning climates is attracting national attention. Attendance Works recently lifted up the work happening here in its annual brief as an effective strategy for motivating students and their families to come to school.

One case study from the brief describes the steps that state and local leaders in Georgia are taking to build a school climate rating system, strengthen the capacity of early grades educators to use developmentally appropriate classroom practices, increase attendance through improved disciplinary practices, and address external challenges like health and housing to promote attendance.

In just one year, we saw a 10 percent drop in K – 3 out-of-school suspensions. By working together to provide positive learning climates inside schools and across our communities, we expect to see attendance increase and suspensions decrease each year.

With gratitude,

#GetGAReading this Month

Please share these posts to promote Farm to School Month on your own social media platforms this month.

Use this Farm to School Month cover photo to help spread the word and show your participation.

Celebrate Farm to School Month with @GeorgiaOrganics #OhMySquash. Sign up to receive access to an online toolkit filled with squash-themed easy activities, standards based lessons, recipes & more! #F2SMonth #FarmtoSchool

Join us in this year's Georgia Organics October Farm to School Month #OhMySquash campaign! Sign up to receive access to an online toolkit filled with squash-themed easy activities, standards based lessons, recipes, and more. #FarmtoSchool #F2SMonth


The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is taking concrete steps to build the capacity of educators to deliver effective literacy-focused instruction; to ensure that K – 3 classrooms are engaging and nurturing for young learners; to partner with struggling schools to remove the barriers to student success; and to engage state and local partners in responding to children’s needs both in school and in the community. Learn More


Debbie Alexander, executive director of the Central Savannah River Area Regional Educational Service Agency and former associate superintendent in Richmond County, has helped make significant progress in exploring multi-dimensional data to understand challenges children face to achieve reading proficiency and identify solutions. Partnering with Augusta University, she helped secure funding from the Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy to provide occupational therapy to children who are struggling academically and behaviorally.

Culture Change—A Sunny Forecast for Our Schools

At Brookview Elementary School, there’s a protocol for how families are greeted and an expectation in the way teachers speak with parents about how kids are doing. Implementing Positive Behavior Interventions and Support has helped decrease suspensions, increase parent involvement, and boost the school’s College and Career Ready Performance Index. Find out why.

Students Record Strongest-Ever Gains on Georgia Milestone Assessments

Georgia students showed strong gains on the spring 2019 Georgia Milestone assessments with 42 percent of third graders scoring proficient or above in English/Language Arts—an increase of five points over 2018. The percentage of students achieving proficiency or above increased or held steady in 25 of the state’s 26 assessments. The only assessment that recorded a drop fell just one point below last year. Check out the scores.

Four Ways Educators Can Build Strong Relationships

Creating communities in schools can be a powerful long-term antidote to violence, emotional distress, and substance abuse. When adults in schools build relationships with students, it can affect their health a decade later. A Pediatrics report outlines four ways to do that: check in on school culture and climate, assign a point of contact, train adults on building relationships, and meet families where they are. Learn why and how.

Super 5: Back to School Power Moves

A survey shows that 90 percent of parents believe their child performs at or above grade level, but teachers report that only 39 percent start the school year prepared for grade-level work. Learning Heroes outlines five actions parents can take to support social, emotional, and academic learning and set kids up for success. The Learning Hero Roadmap provides parents of K – 8 students with an interactive guide to support grade-level progress and life skills. Check out the “Super 5.”

The Fight for Grade-Level Reading Podcast

This podcast covers national and local efforts to get children reading on grade level by the end of third grade. It features interviews with researchers on early childhood development; people who have successfully implemented programs; and funders, authors, parents, and children who are involved in this fight. Subscribe or share your story for a future episode.

Connect and Learn with Grade-Level Reading Campaigns Nationwide

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading recently launched the Community Learning for Impact and Improvement Platform (CLIP) to harness the network’s collective knowledge, expertise, and wisdom to ensure that all children learn to read on grade-level by the end of third grade. Sign up to find out what’s working in other communities, enhance communications capacity, improve performance, and share what you’re learning.

Strengthening School-Family Relationships

Three rigorous studies completed by Johns Hopkins University and RTI International on the impact of the Parent-Teacher Home Visits model have validated the experiences teachers and parents have long reported: home visits significantly strengthen school-family relationships, improve teaching, and bolster student outcomes. Need proof that home visiting works? Check out a fact sheet that covers the results.

Farm to School Month

October 2019
“Oh My Squash” is a statewide effort coordinated by Georgia Organics to help kids across Georgia get to know squash by growing, eating, and learning about it. Sign up for an online toolkit filled with squash-themed easy activities, standards-based lessons, recipes, and more. Share photos of your activities on social media using the #OhMySquash hashtag. Get Started

Georgia Pre-K Week

Monday - Friday, Oct. 7 - 11
Celebrate quality early learning in Georgia with the ninth annual Georgia Pre-K Week. Community leaders and elected officials visit pre-K centers in their communities to see early learning in action and read a favorite children’s book to the young learners. Voices for Georgia’s Children offers resources for pre-K centers and leaders along with fact sheets about the importance of early learning. Learn More


Summer Changes Everything Annual Conference

Monday – Wednesday, Oct. 21-23
Atlanta, Ga.
Summer Changes Everything is the only national conference devoted to summer learning opportunities for youth. Experts and peers will share resources, best practices, and solutions for summer learning and after-school programs at this annual conference hosted by the National Summer Learning Association.
Register Now

Lights On Afterschool

Thursday, Oct. 24
Lights On Afterschool celebrates after-school programs and their critical role in the lives of children, families, and communities. Help keep the #GALightsOn by participating in an event—or finding resources to host your own. Start Planning

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
Copyright © 2019 Get Georgia Reading, All rights reserved.