Mentoring starts with YOU!

Join us at Arnold, Bennett, Frost, George Long, or Northwest Early Elementary to Become a Student’s Mentor!  

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What is Energizing Education?

Energizing Education is a collective approach to promoting literacy. It was created to ensure that all students in Jackson County, Michigan, read at or above grade level by the end of 3rd grade. EE uses a two-pronged approach to helping kids reach grade-level milestones:

  • In-School Mentoring, in which adult volunteers meet with students 1-2 times each week to read with them for 30 minute sessions in our “Literacy Lounges” at each school. Mentors are provided with training and resources to help guide the students and provide a fun, learning environment during their sessions each week.
  • Family Engagement, is a part of our approach so that parents and guardians are involved in nurturing literacy in their children. Once a month each school has a family night where children and parents come together and are provided with tools to assist in reading at home. Through our creative and fun themes, these nights are a blast for all.     

Energizing Education was formed in 2012 with the support of Consumers Energy, United Way of Jackson County, and the countywide Cradle2Career education network.

What Makes EE Work?

In one word: YOU! The key to our success is volunteer support. Adult mentors come from area businesses, nonprofits and the community at large, all willing to give a little of their time each week to read to a child. Energizing Education provides a Literacy Specialist to train, support and guide mentors. Also critical to EE’s success is financial support, which helps cover the costs of books, training materials, special events and specialized staff. Your gifts allow us to expand our efforts and positively impact more children in Jackson County. How successful has Energizing Education been? Our pilot program at Frost Elementary improved reading proficiency dramatically as measured by the Fountas & Pinell Text Level Gradient and the Northwest Association Evaluation Assessment. Now we’re expanding to schools across Jackson County. Want to be involved? Click here or send us an email. 

Who are the volunteers of Energizing Education?

We are continually recruiting mentors within our business community, as well as retirees and college students. We recruit, screen and supervise these mentors, with a JCISD Literacy Specialist providing them with targeted literacy training and supports.


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About the Grant…

The Consumers Energy Foundation awarded a $125,000 grant to support the literacy program at Frost Elementary School in Jackson. The Jackson grant is part of $1.25 million in matching grants offered to 10 community projects throughout Michigan as part of Consumers Energy’s 125th anniversary celebration. Matching grant funds and in kind donations were provided by the initiative’s community partner organizations Consumers Energy grants $125,000 to Energizing EducationThe Consumers Energy Foundation awarded a $125,000 Challenge Grant to start Energizing Education in 2012, prompting others in the community to support the effort. “This check will go toward the greatest investment that we have: our children.” —David Mengebier, President, Consumers Energy Foundation. (Click here for a list of other partners.)