“Reading is the Key” – Arthur Scott Helps J3 Foundation Unlock Success for Kids
One day after school in 2019, Arthur peeked into the library at Watts Learning Center, the elementary school where he was teaching and found an unusual sight. There were twinkling string lights, pop-up forts, and blankets hugging the floor.
Naturally curious and friendly, Arthur walked in and struck up a conversation with J3’s Senior Program Director. As she laid out books and flashlights for the incoming students, she told Arthur all about Cozy Reading Club and J3’s mission to fight the nation’s growing childhood illiteracy crisis.
What is J3’s strategy to tackle this enormous problem? The organization partners with low-resource schools and targets fourth graders to provide their research-backed, results-driven 30-week literacy program at no cost to the school or students.
The statistics are alarming: two out of three students who aren’t reading proficiently by the end of fourth grade will end up in jail or welfare. The most vulnerable are kids from low-income families and neighborhoods — who also happen to be the students that Arthur teaches.
“Some people believe there’s such a thing as ‘throwaway’ schools and ‘throwaway’ kids. I don’t believe in that,” says Arthur. “Education is about the expansion of the mind. It’s about learning how to become a problem-solver. And if you can’t read, how are you going to expand your mind? How are you going to be a problem-solver?”
Arthur decided to join J3’s mission in 2019. He started working part-time after school as a teacher at Cozy Reading Club, then was promoted to Site Coordinator. Today, he is J3 Foundation’s Program Coordinator. In this role, Arthur helps lead, develop, and implement strategies to expand the non-profit’s reach to every kid who needs their help.
“It became something that was really taking my heart,” Arthur says when asked why he decided to join J3. He’s always been passionate about helping kids in underserved communities, and he has found an organization whose values align deeply with his.
“Reading is the key. It’s the backbone of everything. I’ve seen a high schooler who can’t read – how they’re distracted and angry and they just start checking out and dropping out. The statistics are true. We lose them. We have to invest in them earlier,” says Arthur.
In Los Angeles, 52% of fourth graders are reading below grade-level. These students are more likely to struggle in other subjects and drop out of school because in the U.S., kids stop “learning to read” in third grade and are expected to “read to learn” in the fourth grade. Poverty leads to illiteracy, and illiteracy leads to poverty. It’s a weary, intergenerational cycle.
Arthur and the J3 team have set out to change that trajectory for as many kids as they can.
With your support, J3 can help struggling readers develop the foundation they need for a lifetime of success in the classroom and beyond.
Donate today to help them reach the growing number of students who need their help.
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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