Ready.Set.READ! – – a community initiative designed to improve early grade reading proficiency and managed by United Way of Berks County — has awarded summer learning grants to eight local organizations totaling over $37,000. Each grant supports summer learning programming featuring a literacy component serving Berks County Title 1 students, up to and including 3rd grade.
Recipients and their respective programs follow:
– Antietam School District: Teachers in the Park at the Antietam Playground will provide instruction to students in a setting where kids want to be in the summer.
– Brandywine Heights Area School District: The district’s elementary school’s summer book club will feature core literacy components to enhance fluency and comprehension for students in K-3.
– Governor Mifflin School District: Students will explore an early learning environment, with a focus on developing literacy skills, in the district’s “Kindergarten Countdown” program. Priority will be given to students on the district’s Pre-K Counts waiting list.
– Olivet Boys & Girls Club: The Caterpillar Butterfly Summer Literacy Project will add literacy and STEAM related activities to the organization’s summer camp experience for children up to and including 3rd grade.
– Opportunity House: Pre school and early elementary students will advance their literacy and critical thinking skills through a special “Gardening Across the Curriculum” program.
– Reading Public Library: The library’s “Summer STEAM @ RPL” will support programs centered on a new mobile technology van recently acquired by the library to deliver programming to “book deserts”, or areas within the city located outside of walking distance to any library branch.
– Reading School District: The first “Red Knights in Training” program will better prepare incoming pre shool-age students and their families for success in kindergarten.
– Schuylkill Valley Community Library: The “Avoid the Slide and Leap into Summer” literacy based program for preschoolers and elementary students will extend reading into the community through instruction and hands-on activities.
The grant opportunity was available to Ready.Set.READ! (RSR) partner schools, Summer Learning Coalition members and other organizations serving Berks County Title 1 students and were awarded through a competitive process based on a review by a panel of community volunteers, including Ready.Set.READ! and United Way of Berks County board and committee members. Each organization could request up to $5,000.
“Ready.Set.READ! and United Way are pleased to invest these funds in summer learning and literacy programs. Collectively, we are committed to lessening summer learning loss, preparing students for greater successes and expanding literacy opportunities,” says Dr. Yamil Sanchez Rivera, Senior Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Berks County.
United Way and the Summer Learning Coalition are compiling a county-wide summer learning activity directory, which will be housed via 2-1-1, a community information and referral service, and available late May. “All families are encouraged to learn more about summer learning by calling 2-1-1, by visiting pa211east.org or by texting your zip code to 898211,” shares Sanchez Rivera.