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Education

Read to Succeed organizers tout accomplishments, receive funding

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David Shank
/
Shank Public Relations Counselors
Read to Succeed volunteer Kevin Noe helps two Glen Acres Elementary School students prior to the Walmart Foundation awarding a grant to the program.

A literacy program in the Lafayette area is getting a financial boost.

The Walmart Foundation awarded Read to Succeed a $60,000 grant through its State Giving program.

United Way of Greater Lafayette Executive Director James Taylor says the money will help fund the program through this school year and expand it over the next two years.

"We have a few classrooms we're adding onto, but basically, the program will continue on from this fall to the spring. We'll move forward with the plans to expand into the next 5 elementary schools for the fall of 2012."

He says the final seven elementary schools will join the program for the 2013-14 academic year, which means more volunteers will be needed.

Read to Succeed puts community volunteers into the classroom with the goal of getting all children to read at the 3rd Grade level before they enter 4th Grade.

Gary Henriott chairs the program committee for Greater Lafayette Commerce.  He says all 250 volunteer spots were filled for this semester, which got the program off to a successful start.

"The commitment of the business community and the  60 companies who allow their employees to leave work to volunteer is a big deal.  We have 250 volunteers this fall.  We'll probably need 500 volunteers as we double the number of schools participating.  The program is just growing and it's having a huge impact from what we hear from the teachers."

Greater Lafayette Commerce and the local chapter of the United Way started the Read to Succeed effort over the summer with a pilot program.  It was put in place in 5 elementary schools this fall, and is helping roughly 1,500 students in the three public school corporations.

Glen Acres Principal Debbie Patterson says the 91 volunteers working with her students are a great help for teachers and families.

"We have a high Hispanic/Latino population, and there are some homework assignments that are just very challenging for the families, because of the language barrier.  When we have the children here at school still, and the volunteers can help, that's a huge help for them."

The schools currently taking part are Miller and Glen Acres in the Lafayette School Corporation, West Lafayette's Cumberland Elementary, and Burnett Creek and Mayflower Mill in the Tippecanoe School Corporation.

You can find more information about Read to Succeed HERE.