“I’ve been living, working, and volunteering in Cobb County for decades and am committed to ensuring that every child thrives. Get Georgia Reading’s four research-based pillars gives us a common language and puts us in a better position to help children become strong readers and successful learners—preparing them for a life of self-determination. The whole of the four pillars is greater than the sum of the parts, and this framework allows us as a community to be greater than the sum of our individual efforts.”

Irene Barton, Executive Director

Cobb Collaborative functions as a hub for organizations partnering in Cobb County who educate, engage, and empower residents to improve the well-being of children and families with efforts addressing literacy, mental health, and civic engagement. The Collaborative draws insights from local efforts to align state-level action with local opportunities and challenges.

Cobb Collaborative embraces the Campaign’s four pillars as a framework for year-round collective action, promoting them in schools, homes, and the community. The pillars provide a common language that the Collaborative uses to organize its work to advance early literacy, helping all partners see that they have a role to play in promoting literacy.

The Collaborative serves as the backbone for The Basics, a public health approach that promotes five science-based parenting and caregiver tenets supporting children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development in the early years that parents and caregivers can embed into daily routines. With support from the Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Language and Literacy, the Collaborative delivers training in The Basics to libraries, early learning providers, faith partners, YMCAs, and other family facing organizations—promoting a common language so that families receive reinforcing messages, including print and digital resources in English and Spanish.

Cobb Collaborative helps ensure access to books and learning activities. More than 70 Little Free Libraries have been installed in strategic locations, including schools, apartment complexes, faith centers, parks, and early learning centers. Ferst Readers increases access to books in Cobb, and a partnership with a local nonprofit covers the cost to enroll some of the county’s young readers, including patients at a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves Spanish-speaking patients.

The Collaborative engages mayors in Acworth, Austell, Marietta, and Powder Springs in the Mayors Reading Club, distributing books and tactile learning kits to engage children in learning at barbershops, libraries, bookstores, and other locations frequented by families with young children.

Cobb Collaborative engages and supports Literacy Ambassadors—family members affiliated with area public schools—to meet families where they are and share local resources in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. The Collaborative also utilizes Find Help Georgia to help families secure financial assistance, food pantries, mental and health care, child care, job training, and other essential services. The Collaborative also provides trauma-informed trainings to family-facing service providers, raising awareness and reducing stigmas associated with mental health while promoting community and family resiliency.

Cobb Collaborative advances Literacy and Justice for All as a city-wide language-centered ecosystem, in partnership with Marietta City Schools, Learn for Life, and the Atlanta Speech School. Literacy Ambassadors receive training on the Cox Campus and deliver that information to families, helping them understand how they can help build the reading brain.

To learn more about Cobb Collaborative, visit their website.