Leah Austin has been leading the Atlanta Civic Site's education achievement efforts since the beginning of 2011. Last fall, she became deputy director of two-generation strategy, which recognizes that breaking the cycle of poverty that traps many low-income families requires promoting the economic well-being of parents while simultaneously ensuring that their young children are healthy, thriving and developing on track to be successful in school and life.
To achieve this ambitious goal in Atlanta's NPU-V neighborhoods, Austin will work with our partners in education achievement and family economic success to better coordinate their efforts to provide the maximum benefit for area children and families. She will provide guidance and support to the Dunbar Learning Complex and its birth-through-third-grade initiative to ensure all children can read proficiently when they begin fourth grade. She will also help the learning complex strengthen its connections with the Center for Working Families Inc.
Austin brings more than 10 years of professional experience in the field of education, literacy and early child development. She directed United Way of Greater Atlanta's Early Reading First Program, coaching and training early childhood teachers to reinforce best practices in language and literacy instruction. She also led efforts to support the smooth transition from early care and learning to elementary school for Atlanta children. Before coming to Atlanta, she established and coordinated a national literacy campaign to encourage reading between men and boys and a parent leadership program in early care and learning centers throughout Washington, D.C. Austin is working toward her doctorate of education from the University of Pennsylvania and conducting research on effective reforms for urban communities seeking to increase early grade literacy. She received a master of education in school psychology from Howard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Fisk University.