Leading Men Fellowship is Expanding to Atlanta, Georgia Thanks to Investment from Greenlight Fund Atlanta

We are excited to announce Greenlight Fund Atlanta (GreenLight Atlanta) has made a multi-year investment in The Literacy Lab, to establish our Leading Men Fellowship (LMF) program in Atlanta, Georgia.

After a year-long selection effort, GreenLight Atlanta in partnership with Greenlight Atlanta’s Selection Advisory Council identified the impact of classroom instruction interruption as an investment opportunity area. Learning loss, precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with existing educational inequities, requires bold and immediate actions to thwart the widening literacy gap.

The Leading Men Fellowship tackles these challenges in three distinct ways:

  • By closing the literacy gap through evidence-based, high-quality tutoring of pre-K students
  • By empowering young men of color with financial resources and personal and professional development
  • Diversifying the teacher pipeline by laying the foundation for Black and Brown men to pursue careers as early childhood educators.

According to Dr. Ken Zeff, Executive Director of Learn4Life and GreenLight Selection Advisory Council member, “The Leading Men Fellowship is a national model that has [been] proven to both accelerate learning and improve representation in the classroom. The GreenLight Fund is introducing exactly the type of innovation we need in metro Atlanta to meet this moment for our youngest learners.”

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring agrees that the need is great and supports having LMF in Atlanta Public Schools for the 2022-2023 school year: “Our new partnership with The Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship perfectly aligns with the APS strategic plan. Their innovative, multi-generational approach centers equity and addresses two critical opportunities: accelerating literacy growth for our youngest learners while intentionally working to diversify our teacher pipeline, as men of color are severely underrepresented.”

“This is a special time in the evolution of The Literacy Lab as we clarify, solidify and expand our role in the educational equity landscape,” said Heather Jenkins, CEO of The Literacy Lab. “We will continue to build a collaborative environment in which student-centeredness, equitable practices, common purpose and community thrive. We are thrilled to have the opportunity, through our transformative Leading Men Fellowship, to partner with students, schools, communities and other stakeholders in Atlanta to work for greater educational, racial and economic equity.”

Read full press release here.