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The Faith Alliance has sponsored a free Summer Literacy Program for struggling 1st through 6th grade Lakota readers since 2015. The program has served a total of 280 children from homes with little or no resources, very few books, and many with no technology access since its start. On average, 35 children in grades 1 through 6 are served each year. In 2019, two additional classes were added for students through 6th grade for whom English is their second language (ESL).
The program is designed to help readers from low-income Lakota families to hold or even improve their reading levels over the summer. Traditionally, children experience a summer slide in reading levels and the impact is even more pronounced in low-income families due to lack of resources at home.
In partnership with Butler County Success, Lakota Local Schools and grantors, The Faith Alliance has offered this program free of charge to children with financial as well as academic need since 2015.
In 2022, 53 struggling Lakota students completed an expanded 8-week literacy program which equipped the emerging readers with phonics and handwriting skills crucial for success in the classroom. Bussing, teaching staff, healthy snacks, books, blankets, lunches and a personal Chromebook for each student was provided thanks to generous donors. Four teachers, 3 Spanish speaking interns and 35 volunteers (averaging 15 a day) helped EVERY student to improve/achieve new literacy skills!
In 2021, 37 Lakota students completed the 6-week literacy program. Students practiced phonics, handwriting skills and played fun literacy games with the teaching staff, interns and many volunteers. Personal Chromebooks were gifted to each student who completed the program. The overall average success rate of the program in 2021 was 100 percent! Success is measured by testing before and after the class. The average success rate means that 100 percent of the children participating in the program improved their literacy skills over the summer months.
Due to COVID-19 constraints in 2020, only 14 Lakota students registered for the program. However, the children who attended in 2020 benefited greatly from an adapted program. A tremendous response from donors enabled a special incentive in 2020 of gifting each child who attended and did the work a new Samsung Chromebook computer along with a Walmart gift card and gift basket!
For more information or to volunteer, contact: Cathy Borders, Director of Outreach, at firstname.lastname@example.org