Aldersgate Mission's reading director receives Kindness in Action recognition


HATTIESBURG, MS. - This week's Kindness In Action highlights Mary Jo Jackson the Reading Director at Aldersgate Mission in Hattiesburg.

Jackson has helped low-income families and their kids the last 8 years with their developmental reading skills.

“We work mainly with the families in our Briarfield apartments, that is the housing apartments next to us" said Jackson.

According to Jackson the Briarfield average family income is from $11,000 to $15,000 a year. She said a lot of the families do not have a high school diploma.

Jackson helped develop Aldergates Compass Learning Reading program. It is an after school tutoriting program that oversees 66 students from grades K-12 Monday through Friday.

The program utilizes one on one tutoring techniques. “Reading is so important from Kindergarten to 3rd grade, you are learning to read" said Jackson.

She added, "When you hit 4th grade, you are reading to learn and we wanted to make sure that these kids enter the 4th grade, with the ability to read and to learn from their reading experiences.”

The Center's Director Reverend Linda Faye Dixon said with Jackson's assistance they have seen success rates with its program.

“She works very hard to make a path, a reading path for the children, when she learns their weaknesses, she begins to work on those weaknesses" said Dixon.

Dixon said she helps the students seek confidence in their reading ability.

“Then they are developed into learning greater levels, our children move from first grade level to second grade reading level. Or they become on their level or two readings above from their reading" Dixon said.

Jackson hopes to be an advocate that will help local kids succeed.“Kids go to school, you cannot expect your teachers to have 35 kids in a room, and someone not fall through the cracks" Jackson said.

To learn more about the program you can click here.

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