The Faith Alliance has sponsored a free Summer Literacy Program for struggling 1st through 6th grade readers since 2015. The program has served a total of 227 children from homes with little or no resources, very few books, and many with no technology access since its start. On average, 32 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 Schools and grantors, The Faith Alliance has offered this program free of charge to children with financial as well as academic need. 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 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 laptop computer along with a Walmart gift card and gift basket!
In 2021, students were able to return to the classroom for the 6-week program. Students practiced phonics, handwriting skills and played fun literacy games with the teaching staff and many volunteers. Personal laptops were again gifted to each student who completed the program which included 37 students this year.
For more information or to volunteer, contact: Cathy Borders, Outreach Coordinator, at email@example.com