A Success Story Amid Pandemic Learning Losses

By Giving List Staff   |   December 5, 2022
Many young students lost ground in their reading skills during the pandemic. J3 Foundation offers a solution through their free after-school literacy program.

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.

Valery Flores reads under a fort she built at Watts Learning Center. The J3 Foundation has curated a lending library of 5,000+ books that are multicultural, award-winning, and span all genres, reading levels, and interests.

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.


J3 Foundation

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(310) 924-2422
Director of Operations: Bobbie Boggs-Miller

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J3 is excited to announce a unique opportunity to double your donation! Glaser Weil has generously offered to match the first $10,000 in recurring donations!


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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The J3 Cozy Reading Club teaches critical reading competencies through an evidence-based and culturally-relevant curriculum. It allows our Compton students, regardless of income or background, to receive a high-quality after-school reading intervention program. As the Director of Educational Services and former K-8 school principal, I have seen how the J3 Cozy Reading Club has impacted our students’ academic and social development and continues to do so each year. Most importantly, our students love attending J3 sessions! Thank you, J3 Foundation!
Jennifer Kang-Moon, Ed.D.
J3 Client and Director of Educational Services
K-8 Compton Unified School District

Struggling to Read, J3’s Cozy Reading Club Makes it Fun

“The Cozy Reading Club, J3 Foundation’s premier reading program, is special in how intentional every piece of the two-hour after-school program is,” Stacee Longo, Sr. Program Director of J3 Foundation says. “We take a holistic approach with our students by focusing on reading skills, mindfulness, social-emotional learning, restorative practices, and so much more.”

J3 Foundation is raising $864,000 to expand its Cozy Reading Club to 24 additional schools, double its book collection from 5,000 books to 10,000, and to reach 650 more students of color who are struggling to read. 

A $1,500 donation will add 100 books to the J3 collection for our students to read. A $5,000 donation will support the costs of hiring highly qualified educators from our partner schools. A $12,000 donation can fund an entire trimester for a school in need. And a $36,000 donation will fund an entire year of the Cozy Reading Club for 30 students at one school. 

“The magic of our program is that we provide a safe space where all students get to rediscover the joy and magic of a good book,” says Longo.

Key Supporters

Morgan Stanley Gift Fund
McKuin Frankel Whitehead LLP
Oceankind Foundation
Richardson Charitable Foundation
Once Upon a Time Bookstore
Armanino LLP
Barry Family Foundation
Book Foundation
Brother International
CTBC Bank Corp.
Glaser Weil LLP
Humberto & Maria Gray
James Worthy
Joel & Sherry McKuin
Lido Advisors LLC
Macquarie Capital USA
The Brentwood Inn