The Mississippi Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a network comprised of local civic leaders, parents, philanthropists, school officials, policymakers, researchers, healthcare providers, business leaders, and community organizations who are leading community-driven efforts to address major barriers to third-grade reading proficiency – school readiness, chronic absence, and summer learning loss – especially for low-income families.

Meet The Director

A native Mississippian, Ashley Parker Sheils is a product of Jackson Public Schools / Madison County Schools. After completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Mississippi in Elementary Education, Ashley taught middle school in Nashville, TN, where she worked with students who were two or more grade levels behind in reading. This experience inspired Ashley to return to Mississippi to serve as a Literacy Specialist with the Center for Excellence in Literacy Instruction at Ole Miss. Ashley had the privilege of working with teachers at Dundee Elementary School in Tunica County as they transformed their school from near the bottom in the Mississippi accountability model to near the top. Most recently, Ashley attended Southern Methodist University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning and Quantitative Research, as well as served as project coordinator for a federal Office of Special Education Programs Grant through the US Department of Education.

Currently, Ashley serves as the Director of the Mississippi Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, an initiative seeking to empower and equip community leaders to support families and children’s grade-level reading success through coordinated efforts in school readiness, school attendance, and summer learning.