An after school literacy mentorship program for at-risk youth in the Greater Lafayette Community [more]
The only variable that directly correlates with reading scores is the number of books in the home. However, most recent data describes a shocking gap: while the ratio of books to children in middle-income neighborhoods is approximately 13 books to 1 child, the ratio in low-income neighborhoods is 1 book to 300 children.
We partnered with a Liberal Arts faculty, Barnes and Noble, Tippecanoe Childcare, Boys and Girls Club of America, and Hannah Community Center to design a complete literacy program for local youth, including the branding, building a website, set up business accounts, creating a process for managing and vetting volunteers, and publicizing the program.
College students volunteered to read with at-risk 3rd and 4th graders. The commitment to come each week for a whole semester was almost as important as what they do there, as the kids sometimes have very few older people committing to time with them.
After a few months, when the elementary students became more confident reading, the pair was joined by a 3 year old. The new “reader” started reading to the toddler, who was learning to appreciate reading for the first time. At “graduation” we made sure each participant had books at home.
To learn more, check out www.handsacrossthewabash.com