The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley a $2500 grant to support summer literacy. This local grant is part of more than $8.6 million in grants awarded to more than 950 schools, nonprofits and organizations across the communities Dollar General serves.
“With the generous funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, we will be able to expand upon our traditional summer reading initiatives and provide our youth with fun and innovative ways to mitigate any learning loss that may have occurred during the transition from the classroom to online learning” shares Monique Austin, College Ready Communities Director at NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley.
She adds that “COVID-19 has had a major impact on our community, especially in the area of education.”
Typically the summer youth program at NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley has a main goal of mitigating summer learning loss and preparing students to return to the classroom in the fall ready to learn. The added challenge of extensive distance learning due to COVID-19, make this year’s summer program even more important for our students.
“During these extraordinary times, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to support communities’ literacy and educational advancements through funds that will impact thousands of students across the country,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO and Dollar General Literacy Foundation board member. “We are proud to support the meaningful and impactful work that each of today’s recipients conduct and support their ongoing efforts to help individuals improve their lives through literacy and education.”
NWBRV’s summer youth program will take place July 6 through August 16, 2020. The program is free, and open to Woonsocket youth in grades 6-9.
“As a result of COVID-19 as well as state and federal mandates, we made the difficult decision to host our program mostly remotely. Our amazing staff has created a variety of fun and engaging activities ranging from: art, health and wellness, music, photography, cooking classes, service learning, etc.” shares Austin.
The program will provide participants with materials to engage in weekly activities such as sketching, gardening and other things they can do at home. Students will also be encouraged to participate in interactive social media challenges, such a socially distant community cleanup (#TrashTag) and a mask up challenge (#Mask4U), for chances to connect with their peers and win a variety of prizes. Through the support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, students will also be delivered books to grow their own personal collection. These books will be incorporated into virtual book clubs and summer programming.
At the end of each week, participants will be entered into a drawing to join in on “Fun Fridays.” An in-person afternoon for 10 students and NWBRV youth program staff. “Fun Fridays” will include food, fun, and games and provide students with an opportunity to interact with their peers and staff while observing appropriate physical distancing standards.
Those interested in the program should contact Monique Austin at: firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
NWBRV is proud to be the recipient of support from The Dollar General Literacy Foundation as the Foundation works to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $182 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 11 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.