A Success Story Amid Pandemic Learning Losses
When the grim results of the National Assessment of Education Progress report came out, teachers across the country were not surprised. “I knew there was going to be a deficit. It was just amazing how much was lost,” said Carol King, a teacher at J3’s partner school, Tibby Elementary in Compton, California. While it’s devastating that 9-year-olds’ reading scores dropped to levels we haven’t seen in 30 years, J3 Foundation still has hope.
In fact, the non-profit was battling the nation’s literacy crisis even before the pandemic made it worse. And they certainly won’t stop now when they’re most needed.
Their secret weapon? “The Cozy Reading Club,” a free after-school reading program that helps fourth graders reading below grade level in high-needs schools grow their skills in a fun and safe space. Step into the warm glow of a J3 classroom and you’ll find children reading books in tents, in forts, and under fairy lights as jazz music fills the air.
But don’t let the coziness fool you; their research-backed sessions really work.
Across the nation, the invisible aftershocks of the pandemic ran silently through classrooms as student reading scores dropped in the 2021-2022 school year. When examining iReady scores at schools J3 partnered with, non-J3 students did not exceed their expected reading growth. Meanwhile, J3 students exceeded expected reading growth by 57%.
This breakthrough progress that J3 helped their students gain in just 30 weeks (the length of their program) is key. Our nation faces a burden of “unfinished learning” (McKinsey & Company, 2021) because of the last two years of online learning.
To catch up, experts propose “more instructional time” and “high-dosage tutoring” (NPR, 2022). Fortunately, this is exactly what the Cozy Reading Club has been offering all along.
Developed by child educators and psychologists, J3’s curriculum is research-based, results-driven, and takes a holistic approach. With highly trained teachers and personalized lessons, students learn the skills to help them succeed in school and beyond. The program even includes restorative and mindfulness exercises that were especially helpful for kids during the pandemic.
When the world went into lockdown, J3 shifted its program online and adapted quickly when their kids (90% of whom are low-income) needed them the most. As one parent remarked during the thick of the pandemic, “Cozy [Reading] Club could not have come at a better time. The teachers were so active and helpful… My kid loves being a part of this after-school program.”
Even more, J3 grew exponentially during the pandemic. They used their virtual platform to reach the growing number of struggling students falling through the cracks.
The Cozy Reading Club has been and continues to be a safety net for these kids.
Before the pandemic, they served three schools. During lockdown, they added nine more. Now, they serve 17 schools.
Coming out of Covid, J3 Foundation is more energized, determined, and needed than ever before. They’re working hard to cast their reach to every district, every school, and every student that needs their help. They’re looking for individuals to open up a new district. You, as a donor, can make a difference. Reach out today.
Director of Operations: Bobbie Boggs-Miller
Matching Funds — $1,500 Funds a Young Reader
One of the reasons J3 Foundation has been so effective is that it’s stayed laser focused on what it does best: teaching kids to read. The Cozy Reading Club anticipates serving 700+ students this year and J3 hopes to double that number by attracting more private donations. Creating a new reader who will grow up to be a positive contributor to society costs the organization just $1,500 annually.
“I think it’s the best $1,500 we as a society could ever invest,” says Joe Blackstone, J3 Foundation co-founder. “And that number will go down as we get more students.”
Glaser Weil will match every dollar raised, up to $10,000.
To equip 4th grade scholars with the skills, habits, confidence, and book access they need for a lifetime of reading success
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I appreciate J3 for the organization’s commitment to doing everything possible when it comes to reading proficiency. It’s rewarding to see your dollars make an impact immediately. J3 Foundation is so well run that I don’t have to think twice about the actual support that’s being implemented. The rate they’re scaling is just amazing. J3 sees every child’s potential and never gives up on its mission.
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