Read to a Child announces the ‘Help Kids in Need Love to Read’ Fundraising Campaign during National Reading Month – March 1, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
$100,000 Will Support 6,000 One-on-One Reading Sessions with Caring Adults Nationwide
WELLESLEY, MA, March 1, 2017 – National non-profit literacy and mentoring organization Read to a Child® today announced its fourth annual online fundraising campaign ‘Help Kids in Need Love to Read’ which is designed to spark a love of reading in low-income kids. By raising $100,000 in March, which is National Reading Month, Read to a Child can support 6,000 individual reading sessions for at-risk children in urban centers across the country.
Astoundingly, 80% of 4th graders from low-income families in the United States are not proficient in reading and 26% will not graduate from high school. To combat this literacy crisis, Read to a Child enlists volunteer reading mentors to visit urban elementary schools once a week and read aloud one-on-one to children during lunch. This time spent with a caring adult ignites a love of reading in struggling children, while providing students with the skills and confidence to succeed in school and life.
“Alarmingly, 2/3rds of low-income children who are not proficient readers by 4th grade will end up on welfare or in jail,” said Read to a Child CEO, Paul Lamoureux. “By participating in this campaign you can help society as a whole as we give at-risk children a better chance to succeed in school and in life. You can also have a whole lot of fun as you inspire others to support children’s literacy and cast daily votes for your favorite children’s books as we work our way down to the Final Four and Champion!”
The fundraising campaign features a fun ‘March Madness’ themed ‘Book Bracket Challenge’ where selected children’s book titles will face off on Read to a Child’s Facebook page every workday in March. By popular vote, the initial lineup of 32 children’s books will be narrowed to a ‘sweet sixteen’, ‘elite eight,’ ‘final four’ and ultimately a ‘champion.’ In 2016, P.D. Eastman’s ‘Are You My Mother?’ was voted in as champion in the inaugural Book Bracket Challenge.
All proceeds from the campaign will go to Read to a Child to fund its Lunchtime Reading Program, which pairs more than 1,200 at-risk elementary school children with volunteer reading mentors. Once a week, these caring adults spend their lunch hour reading aloud to their student mentees. This simple, yet profound, act has been shown to foster a love of reading, improve literacy skills and boost confidence in struggling children.
“I was matched with my reading buddy, Johandra, when she was in the 2nd grade and we are now in our third year of reading together,” said Nancy Puleo, Partner at Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP. “Not only does Johandra greet me with excitement and a hug, but also I see all of the other students’ enthusiasm when they greet their volunteer readers. The positive energy is electric and contagious. This experience is the highlight of my week and I return to work feeling invigorated and inspired.”
Continues Puleo, “You make an immediate impact when you donate to Read to a Child. The book carts are a bit fuller, the number of students benefiting from the program grows, and the program’s offerings are enhanced. I encourage individuals and companies alike to consider donating to Read to a Child.”
ArcLight is delighted to once again be a Visionary Sponsor of Read to a Child’s annual online fundraiser,” says Mark Tarini, Partner at ArcLight Capital Partners LLC. “ArcLight is passionate about serving the community and by supporting Read to a Child, both financially and with our volunteer readers, we are able to give back to those most in need. We also see how much personal satisfaction our employees receive from time spent with their mentees. Unlike many other corporate volunteer programs, the Read to a Child volunteer opportunity allows us to have a deep relationship with students and to make a direct impact on the student’s future success. It is very powerful for volunteer and student alike.”
“The Read to a Child online campaign is a strategic approach to building literacy, creative thinking and lifelong learning among children in our community. Pitney Bowes is honored to be a part of this innovative program and pleased to once again be a Visionary Sponsor of the ‘Help Kids in Need Love to Read’ campaign,” said Kathleen Ryan Mufson, President of the Pitney Bowes Foundation.
Other campaign sponsors include Integrity Services, Steve Lyons Gallery, and Commonwealth Financial, as well as Posterscope USA and Atrium PR, who are generously donating marketing and media services for the campaign.
For more information about the ‘Help Kids in Need Love to Read’ campaign and how to participate or donate, please visit https://readtoachild.networkforgood.com/projects/12107-read-to-a-child-help-kids-in-need-love-to-read. The campaign runs from March 1 – 31, 2017.
About Read to a Child:
Read to a Child, www.readtoachild.org, is a national nonprofit literacy and mentoring organization that inspires caring adults to read aloud regularly to at-risk children to create better opportunities for the child’s future. Research shows that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for eventual success in reading, a key factor for success in school, work, and life. When an adult reads aloud to a child, both parties have a joyful, rewarding experience that instills a love of reading, improves literacy skills, and enhances a child’s self-confidence. Read to a Child’s Lunchtime Reading Program utilizes 1,500 volunteer mentors from more than 100 socially-minded organizations who read one-on-one to 1,200 at-risk elementary school students in greater Boston, Connecticut, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Miami.
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