The goal of the Generational Poverty Literacy Collaborative is …

for the community of Bryson City to develop a collaborative response to generational poverty by assuring that all children are kindergarten ready and reading proficient by third grade.


The Issue is Poverty.

  • Child poverty is our largest crisis and greatest failure as a civilized nation.
  • Nearly one quarter of North Carolina children live below the poverty line; many more from low socio-economic homes.
  • Children impacted by poverty are often hidden, living in rural areas and high poverty neighborhoods.


The profound relationship between poverty and literacy.

  • Poverty can negatively affect a child’s cognitive development and academic performance.
  • Over 40% of North Carolina’s children are not proficient readers by third grade.
  • 74% of 3rd graders who read poorly struggle in ninth grade.
  • Reading on grade level by the end of third grade is one the best predictors of high school graduation.
  • 85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally low literate.
  • 75% of prison inmates are high school dropouts.


We believe…

  • the church is called to be the prophetic voice on behalf of children impacted by poverty.
  • the church is called to be in mission with God, beyond the church walls, responding to this crisis.
  • the church has a responsibility in assuring every child has an equal start and a way out of generational poverty.
  • the church cannot do this alone; this crisis requires the engagement and commitment of the entire community.
  • the prophetic voice of the church can create such a community response.
  • by loving, learning, and leading together the church will be transformed with a united prophetic voice that will engage broader community commitment.
  • collaboration is imperative, so we seek ecumenical partnerships and connection with other organizations and initiatives.
  • silo driven systems of support for children are not changing outcomes. Creating a community of hope and opportunity for all requires replacing the wasteful and silo-driven systems that exist today with integrated public and private service-delivery systems to generate systemic change.


Assure that all of our children are kindergarten ready and reading proficient by third grade?

Transformational change begins from within, therefore, we begin by engaging local churches through Missional Connection Covenant Teams committed to …

  • meeting regularly to love, learn and lead together.
  • learning about our Wesleyan missional heritage and the poverty as it exists just beyond the church doors.
  • leading our churches and communities in understanding the challenges faced by children impacted by poverty and into action by being the prophetic voice of God and for God’s children.