Children living in the Oakbrook community who participated and regularly attended an eight-week summer reading program are celebrating their achievements. Successful participants received a bike and helmet, courtesy of Customers Bank.
The summer reading program is a collaboration to ensure the youth receive a nutritious weekday meal and to address summer learning loss. Ready.Set.READ!, managed by United Way of Berks County, delivers the reading portion of the program, along with program partners Alvernia University’s Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement and the YMCA of Reading and Berks. Other collaborators include Berks Community Health Center, Customers Bank, the Reading School District and the Reading Housing Authority (RHA). The school district provides the meals.
The program began during mid-June and offered meals and literacy activities to children in the Oakbrook Housing neighborhood throughout the summer weeks. Program activities included reading books, writing stories, vocabulary building, word recognition and learning games.
In total, more than 175 children participated in the program, with 90 students having received their new bikes earlier this month; an additional 18 children received their “new wheels” on August 18 from United Way and Customers Bank representatives. “Literacy is the foundation to life-long learning, and it was especially important to connect students with summer learning experiences this year with the disruptions in education caused by COVID. We are grateful for all of the support provided by Customers Bank and the program partners,” said Tammy White, President of United Way of Berks County.