Nonprofit creates summer reading program for children

Its aim is for school aged children to continue their education this season.

WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)- Summer time may be a break from the classroom, but it doesn't mean you have to take a break from learning.

That's the message a local nonprofit wants to get across to school aged children and their parents.

The United Way has a reading program where they focus on kindergarten readiness. But they say for the first time, they are expanding their reach and encouraging more children to pick up a book this summer.

For many kids, summer means spending time at the beach or the park. But however they choose to spend their time this season, local leaders say make sure you keep reading.

"Children can be at risk for losing some of what they gained throughout the school year," says Jennifer Deemer of the United Way of Wyoming Valley.

It's called brain drain, and leaders say when it happens, it's harder to catch up. That's why the United Way of Wyoming Valley wants parents to "Tag In" and motivate their children to read at least ten books this summer, a time when most teachers are "tagging out."

"This is part of our focus on helping children in poverty," says Deemer. "Children in poverty need to have access to a quality education, they need to do well in school."

The nonprofit is piloting a program with Kisler Elementary. Thanks to funding from the Luzerne Foundation, the United Way will sponsor an ice cream party in the fall for students who take part.

Officials are hoping that incentive will drive more school aged children to pick up a book.

Bethany Ann Mulcahy isn't in school yet, but thanks to her father, she's getting better at reading.

"I just love it cause it's so much fun," says Mulcahy.

Sean Mulcahy is making sure the teachers show Bethany Ann the importance of reading early.

"If I can get her into it when she's younger, she'll be better off," says Sean.

And he says community libraries are a great resource.

"If they're not here, people won't have enough money to buy as many books as they should be reading," says Sean.

The United Way of Wyoming Valley hopes to spread this program to other school districts in the future.

 


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