The Early Childhood Coalition is a community-wide partnership in Tupelo/Lee County to ensure that all our children reach their full potential. This initiative began with a partnership between United Way of Northeast Mississippi and the CREATE Foundation and is the joining of Lee County Excel By 5 and the Tupelo/Lee County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. The Coalition includes both Tupelo and Lee County school districts, which serve approximately 14,000 students. It also includes 55 daycare/childcare centers. The community of Lee County/Tupelo has united and made a commitment to our children’s success.
The two school districts, Head Start centers, childcare centers, and Lee County Excel by 5 have made great strides in just a few months developing partnerships. The members of the coalition focus on improving four main areas: school readiness, attendance, summer learning opportunities, and health.
The Read First Coalition joined the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading in 2018. Tupelo/Lee County is the fifth community in Mississippi to join the national campaign. Tupelo/Lee County became a certified Excel By 5 community in 2013, joining dozens of others across the state of Mississippi.
The Coalition will focus on coordination of resources, communication, and increased public awareness to ensure the children of Lee County will read on grade level by the end of third grade. The Coalition collaborated and developed goals focused on four main areas: school readiness, student attendance, summer learning opportunities, and health. The entire community can play a role to ensure we are meeting these goals and that all our children are reaching their full potential.