Improving Literacy in Cobb County

The Cobb Collaborative is engaging all stakeholders in a community-wide reading initiative that unites families, educators and community partners to improve literacy in children. As one of many solutions to improving outcomes for children and families, proficient literacy and language skills have been proven to directly influence the opportunities and successes of their lives. Students who have not mastered reading by 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of high school, leading to diminished employment opportunities, poorer physical and behavioral health and lower levels of civic engagement.


Get Georgia Reading

As the local point of contact for the Get Georgia Reading Campaign, the Collaborative and our members and community stakeholders have developed individual and environmental strategies to support the four-pillar framework of the Get Georgia Reading Campaign and to increase awareness of the importance of 3rd grade reading proficiency.

under the age of 6 are read to by family members more than 4 days per week

happens before Kindergarten

are not achieving Proficient Learner on Milestones English Language Arts assessment in Cobb County

Incredibly, the human brain doubles in size in the first year. It keeps growing to about 80% of adult size by age 3 and 90% – nearly full grown – by age 5. That’s why the earliest years are critical to developing strong readers and engaged students.

The Basics Cobb County is our Birth-5 programming that aims to provide fun, simple, and powerful strategies to help every child reach their full potential. The Basics Vision is a Cobb County where infants, toddlers, and preschoolers of all racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds are on track to achieve their full potential--having benefited from early experiences that foster healthy brain development, learning, joy, and resilience. Click here for more information about The Basics Cobb County.

Interested in bringing The Basics training to your organization? Email Cobb Collaborative Literacy Coordinator Leslie Danford ( for more information.

You can also follow The Basics Cobb County on social media:

Questions? Email


Little Free Library

One of the most successful ways to improve the reading achievement of children is to increase access to books, especially at home. The Cobb Collaborative works to accomplish this through the installation and upkeep of Little Free Libraries in our community. These book-sharing boxes remove barriers to book access by being available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day with free accessibility. LFLs operate under the “Take One, Leave One” theory which encourages readers to not only take a book, but to leave one for others when there is an ability to do so. This is a quintessential collaborative effort, with additional partners including Cobb County School District, United Way of Greater Atlanta Northwest Region, Scout troops, businesses, civic associations and Greystone Power. We welcome new stakeholders as the need is great.


Literacy & Justice For All

In May 2021, we were named part of a collaborative initiative working to create a language-centered ecosystem and learning environment within the City of Marietta and Marietta City Schools for children from birth to grade 3. The goal of the “Literacy and Justice for All” grant is to use a community-wide commitment to the science of reading to empower every child in Marietta to be a proficient reader by the end of third grade. This work is critically important as schools address both the significant learning loss resulting from the pandemic and the gaps in  opportunity that often occur around literacy in our communities. Marietta-based investments from the United Way in year one includes teaching resources, trauma-informed training, professional development, social-emotional learning, community programming, early learning opportunities, personnel, and evaluation.

The collective goal is not to “beat the odds” for a small number of children, but to change the odds for every child. The Cobb Collaborative is leading a broad-based communications strategy to engage community stakeholders. Additionally, we are recruiting and leading “Literacy Ambassador” volunteers from each of Marietta City Schools elementary campus. Ambassadors share their unique perspective as parents, family members and caregivers of current students with other families and are a “trusted voice” to their peers. Ambassadors are champions for their school, Marietta City Schools and the Literacy & Justice For All initiative. They are an integral piece of the process of bringing educators and community leaders together to tackle the issue of literacy and helping every child be on a path of reading proficiency and ultimately – leading a life of self-determination.

For more information about the Literacy and Justice for All initiative, please download our Press Release



Community Members