Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy and school readiness of young children in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by providing new books to children and discussing the importance of reading aloud with parents. ROR teaches 3.9 million families annually about the importance of reading which leads to children with larger vocabularies who are more prepared to succeed in kindergarten. The non-profit recently received nationwide attention when Earl Phalen was honored at the BET awards for his work with the organization. Phalen was honored with the Shine a Light / Local Hero Award for his work on promoting education through ROR and Summer Advantage USA. In his own words, “The best part of national recognition is that it gives us a chance to get more resources to serve every child in poverty and make sure all children enter school ready to learn.”
HIPPY USA helps teach parents how to get involved with the early education of their three, four, and five year old children so that they will be prepared for school and success. They provide parents with a unique and tested curriculum, books and other materials to strengthen their child’s cognitive skills, early literacy skills, and social, emotional and physical development. HIPPY USA is committed to making use of the most recent studies and advances in childhood education when forming a curriculum. In keeping with this tradition, they have recently revamped the Age 4 curriculum. The major changes will be less use of worksheets and more use of real life problems and exercises. They also plan to update the illustrations and make the workbooks more environmentally friendly. These advances help children better connect with the lessons and better prepare them to enter school.
LIFT works to combat poverty and provide opportunities for all people from all backgrounds across the nation. Clients and volunteers work one-on-one to find jobs, secure safe housing, make ends meet through public benefits and tax credits, and obtain quality referrals for services like childcare and health care. Their goal is to help all Americans achieve financial security and be able to pursue their goals. LIFT is currently active in 5 major cities across the US. Recently, the Philadelphia program reached a significant milestone of providing 2,000 clients with the tools needed to combat unemployment, poor housing, and financial instability. This feat, which was accomplished in less than a year, highlights Philadelphia’s commitment to expand its volunteer base and promote increased community awareness.
LISC, or Local Initiatives Support Corporation, connects community organizers and local leaders with the resources necessary to revitalize neighborhoods and improve the general quality of life. LISC gathers public and private resources and funnels them into local initiatives and priorities. They aim to provide community development organizations with loans and grants, policy support on local, state, and national levels, as well as technical and management assistance. Recently, the Corporation for National and Community Service awarded the group $2.2 million to support the 240 LISC AmeriCorps members who will help revitalize disadvantaged communities across the nation. The award represents a 76% increase over the 2009 award and will help LISC make more improvements in more places.
Stay tuned next week…