By JEFF AMY
The groups announced Tuesday at the Capitol that Mississippi would join the Campaign for Grade Level Reading on a statewide basis.
The idea is that businesses, volunteers and donors will work cooperatively to make sure children start kindergarten prepared, attend school regularly, and make progress toward reading fluently.
Gulfport and Oxford are already members of the nationwide campaign, based in Washington, D.C.
The Meridian-based Phil Hardin Foundation and others will offer as much as $300,000 over three years to encourage communities to start local efforts.
Mississippi requires all third grade public school students to read at a basic level to advance to fourth grade. Requirements are scheduled to go up in 2018.