Program Summary 

The MiSsion Acceleration pilot program is designed to accelerate reading achievement for 1000 children from Mississippi. The program will provide the trifecta of support for readers in grades K-5:

  1. an evidence-based intervention with explicit, systematic 1:1 academic  assistance (also known as high-dosage tutoring) in reading
  2. a student-centered, personalized,  digital literacy environment giving students access to more than 6,000 enhanced digital books  matched to the students’ interest, grade, and Lexile® reading level to deliver appropriate texts for  reading practice that can be monitored and assessed, as well as utilized for parent/child/academic  guide engagement
  3. a meaningful connection with a role model for academic, social, and emotional support.


The goals of this proposed project are:

  • increase the number of skilled reading Academic Guides  (tutors) in Mississippi
  • positively impact academic outcomes in reading for students in grades K-5
  • increase the total number of minutes a struggling reader spends on appropriate, Lexile®-leveled  text
  • reduce the negative effects of the pandemic on the academic and social/emotional well-being  of students in grade K-5
  • expand resources for parents to support reading development at  home. 

Dr. Angela Rutherford
Center for Excellence in Literacy Instruction, Director

Angela Rutherford is Professor in the Department of Teacher Education, as well as Director of the Center for Excellence in Literacy Instruction (CELI). She has extensive K-12 experience in Mississippi and Alabama where she taught reading and mathematics. Dr. Rutherford has served as principal investigator on many different grant projects. These different projects focus on providing K-12 students’ access to effective teachers, resources, and opportunities so that they are successful learners across the areas of school readiness, summer learning, and community engagement to include engaging college students as volunteer literacy and early childhood teachers or tutors.