3-year $265,000 grant award from Dogwood Health Trust

3-year $265,000 grant award from Dogwood Health Trust

Literacy Together is thrilled to announce a 3-year $265,000 grant award from Dogwood Health Trust to expand our Youth Literacy program.

The Youth Literacy program provides tutors to students in grades K-5 during the academic year as well as through a summer camp reading initiative. Literacy Together has established a formal partnership with two after-school programs – Youth Transformed for Life (YTL) and Christine W. Avery Learning Center (CWA)

Youth Literacy Program Director Julie Taylor and Program Assistant Tiffany Grimme have recruited 26 summer interns. We anticipate serving 75-100 children this year.

3-year $265,000 grant award from Dogwood Health Trust

An abundance of research supports the implementation of community-based summer bridge programs to decrease reading loss, especially for youth from low-resource households. A study published in Reading & Writing Quarterly (2018 34:3, 263-280) demonstrates that a well-designed, community-based summer program can improve literacy skill outcomes for elementary-aged students. 

The Literacy Together summer camp intentionally emphasized recruiting youth of color for paid internships to serve as tutors. Recent research documents that students of color taught by those who share their identities and cultural backgrounds benefit academically and emotionally (source: Teach for America, June 2019). 

In last summer’s program, the bond between the interns and campers was almost instantaneous, and the results were encouraging. The campers received pre-and post-tests conducted by Title I Reading Specialists from Asheville City Schools, using the same tools used during the school year. Of the campers who completed both the pre-and post-tests, 41 out of 44 (93%) improved their test scores in at least one literacy area.
The summer camp experience is beneficial to the interns/tutors as well. They learn a new skill, gain the experience of a summer job, have an opportunity to “give back” to the community, and receive letters of recommendation. Once a week, they attend professional development sessions on interview skills, financial literacy, and how to describe the intern experience in college essays and resumes. 

Watch our new video that features students and their tutors in the Youth Literacy program.
The Youth Literacy Program needs more volunteer tutors! The next Youth Literacy Program training course will begin in August. Sign up here if you want to attend. Or send an email to Laura at laura@lit-together.org. Thanks!

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