Wyomissing, Pa. – More than 40 local students are the proud owners of brand-new bikes and helmets thanks to Customers Bank, the United Way of Berks County, and the Ready.Set.READ! program.
For the third year in a row, Customers Bank sponsored the Books for Bikes challenge, which provides a free bike and helmet to each child who completes 30 of the 40 days, or at least 75 percent, of the Ready.Set.READ! literacy and reading program. Customers Bank presented the bikes and helmets today at the Berks Community Health Center Oakbrook, at 1040 Liggett Avenue, Reading, PA, 19611.
“Education and community service are two of Customers Bank’s top priorities, and we are proud to provide bikes and helmets as a way to show young students that reading comes with rewards,” said Richard Ehst, President & Chief Operating Officer, Customers Bank. “We offer a special thanks to Mary Jimenez of the United Way of Berks County for her work with the Ready.Set.READ! program, and to Lebo’s Pedal Parlor for their time and effort in assembling the bikes. We also thank the parents, guardians, and families who made summer learning a priority for these children. They are the future of our community, and we are all responsible for their education.”
Ready.Set.Read! is an initiative managed by United Way to help foster a love of reading in children by working with schools, businesses, organizations and individuals throughout the community. It is designed to reduce “summer slide,” which occurs when students – particularly those in lesser-served neighborhoods – lose up to 2.5 months worth of academic skills over the summer months. This year’s program ran for eight weeks, offering hands-on reading instruction as well as literacy-inspired yoga; access to fun, engaging STEM activities through Reading Public Library’s mobile technology van; and instruction in literary-inspired drama, dance, painting, and drawing through Barrio Alegria. Reading Truck Body provided school supplies and backpacks for the program.