The Mississippi Association of Grantmakers began work in 2016 to bring the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Program to Mississippi. MAG members worked with the Mississippi Department of Education and the Center for Excellence in Literacy Instruction at the University of Mississippi to design and implement the Mississippi Campaign for Grade Level Learning.
Several MAG members–the Phil Hardin Foundation, the Barksdale Reading Institute, the Molpus Foundation, the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the W. E. Walker Foundation, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Corporation, and the ChemFirst/First Mississippi Corporation Charitable Endowment of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson–pooled resources to create a Small Grants Fund that will help local communities plan and implement activities that become part of the statewide campaign.
Two communities, Oxford/Lafayette County and Gulfport, are actively participating in the initiative, but the goal is to create at least 10 community partnerships statewide by 2018 that are working with local schools to enhance reading performance.
An initial grant of $9,980 was provided in June to the Gulfport Campaign for Reading for summer educational and public awareness activities.