AmeriCorps VISTA joins CFGD team
Contact: Jeff Danna
For Immediate Release:
Andrew Kirkland has joined the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s team as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). Kirkland is from Cadiz, a small town in eastern Ohio, and has a master’s degree in museum studies from Western Illinois University – Quad Cities.
Kirkland will assist youth impact coordinator Rachel Williams with research for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and other initiatives affecting youth. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading brings focus to a key predictor of school success and high school graduation: grade-level reading by the end of third grade. The Campaign is a collaborative effort by funders, nonprofit partners, schools and parents to help ensure that more low-income children succeed in school and are prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. The Foundation facilitates Grade-Level Reading campaigns in Dubuque, Dyersville, Jones and Jackson Counties.
Kirkland will be with CFGD for one year. He looks forward to making a difference in the lives of children throughout the region.
“With the research I’m doing, I’m hoping that I can find the information and the tools that the different groups we’re working with can use to fight chronic absence and raise reading levels — and in turn graduation rates,” said Kirkland. In his first weeks on the job, he’s been exploring methods for developing community needs assessments. He’s begun investigating the barriers that keep students from developing their reading skills and working on strategies for communication with parents to fight chronic school absence.
“I’m excited to welcome Andrew to our team,” said Williams. “His experience with research and organizational support will be an asset for impacting youth in the region.”