Closing the achievement gap with reading intervention
Senior tax associate Abigail Mabley had always earned top marks in school, but when she entered the third grade, her teachers made a startling discovery: She couldn’t read. To keep her from falling behind in school, Abigail’s parents enrolled her in private tutoring to quickly catch her up to her peers.
“I think about parents who don’t have the resources for expensive lessons, and I know there are kids that need extra support to keep up with their classmates,” she said.
Volunteering to pay it forward
Passionate because of her childhood experience, Abigail began volunteering with Jumpstart during her studies at the University of Mississippi. Jumpstart is a national early education program that trains college students to teach preschool children critical pre-kindergarten literacy skills, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap.
“Building these reading skills at a young age is so important because by the third grade, students switch from learning to read, to reading to learn, and that’s when unprepared students can fall behind,” Abigail said. “It was a huge blessing for me to have those extra reading lessons, and I want to share that gift of reading with others.”
Baker Tilly Wishes grant provides crucial new funding
A key component of Jumpstart is providing transportation for students, who must travel up to two hours twice a week for lessons. The $10,000 Baker Tilly Wishes grant will help the organization purchase a new van for transportation.
“Their old van has about 350,000 miles, so it’s ready for a replacement,” Abigail added.