GET GRADY READING is a new literacy program promoted by these new literacy coaches, Erin Simpson, left, and Kiara Jones with the Grady County School System. They are organizing a Stuff The Bus school supply drive for the community to help support students and teachers over the next two weeks.
Get Grady Reading is a new initiative funded by a $5 million grant to the Grady County School System to improve literacy for local children of all ages. To introduce the program, new grant director and literacy coach for Grady County Schools Erin Simpson is organizing a “Stuff the Bus” two-week school supply drive to help equip students and teachers with the tools they need when school begins Sept. 8.
“It is important to come together as a community to help provide school supplies for our students and teachers during the current pandemic and times of economic hardship,” says Simpson.
Local businesses and churches will have boxes where donors can drop off supplies through Wednesday, Sept. 2. Then, on Sept. 3, a Grady County school bus will travel to each location and collect the donated supplies.
Participating businesses are Mr. Chick, Cairo IGA, Cox Pharmacy, Five Star Credit Union, Capital City Bank, First National Bank, and First Baptist Church.
“All school supplies will be redistributed among Grady County students in need of supplies,” Simpson says.
Needed items include disposable masks; hand soap; hand sanitizer; Clorox wipes; plastic baggies (gallon and quart size); refillable water bottles; baby wipes; new backpacks; pencil pouches/boxes; 3-ring binders; spiral notebooks; DuoTang folders; headphones; earbuds; colored pencils; glue sticks; glue bottles; scissors; composition books; notebook paper; erasers; pencils; and crayons.
Grady is one of 23 school districts to receive the Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia (L4GA) grant, which has allowed the school system to hire literacy coaches who will help children birth to twelfth grade.
Simpson says, “As literacy coaches, it is our desire to assist families, teachers and students will the great commission of increasing literacy in Grady County. Literacy is what connects us all. It is the common thread that impacts each one of us.”
Simpson says the program is partnering with community members. “You will begin to see literature for children in the community, such as barbershops, laundromats, and doctors offices. We would like to partner with area businesses and provided literacy learning opportunities for employees to learn about the importance of literacy and receive resources to help their children,” she says. “Investing in parents and children will reap benefits that will have a lasting impact on our county.”