Local Non-Profits Join Forces With the Najim Family Foundation on Super Summer Readers Program

By May 8, 2018 No Comments

Local Non-Profits Join Forces With the Najim Family Foundation on Super Summer Readers ProgramPilot Program Launches June 4 and runs through August 10, 2018.

SAN ANTONIO – May 8, 2018 – (

The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, SA Youth, and San Antonio Youth Literacy have joined forces with the Najim Family Foundation to launch Super Summer Readers, a pilot program that focuses on the importance of summer reading. The non-profits announced the program at the May’s Family Boys & Girls Club on Tuesday, May 8.

Conceived and funded by Harvey E. Najim, the purpose of the Super Summer Readers program is to assess the impact that adult reading mentorship and guidance can have on youth reading progress, especially during the Summer months when academic learning loss can be prevented. The pilot program will include 500 rising 3rd, rising 4th, and rising 5th-grade students and aims at preventing the lower academic achievements that are seen at the start of a new school year then they were at the beginning of summer break.

“Eliminating Summer Learning Loss is the most important thing we can do to improve education for low-income elementary school students,” said Harvey E. Najim, President of the Najim Family Foundation.

“As a community, we must acknowledge and address the fact that reading achievement gaps in high school students across the United States can be attributed in large part to unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years,” said Deborah L. Valdez, Executive Director of San Antonio Youth Literacy.

Although all three nonprofits participating in the Super Summer Readers program have slightly different missions, they are all uniquely aligned in supporting academic success for low-income children in San Antonio.

“Programs like Super Summer Readers are imperative in the continued success of our community and we are grateful to the community leaders at the Najim Family Foundation,” stated Asia Ciaravino, President and CEO of SA Youth. “Our students are so lucky to have a reading champion in Harvey Najim; his legacy will reverberate across the city as we foster growth in these young minds.”

“While summer is a great break from school, it should not be a break from learning,” stated Angie Mock, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio. “Unfortunately, low-income children are most impacted by the summer slide, and we’re going to fix that in San Antonio.”

The 10-week program will provide the students with a designated reading time for one hour a day, three days a week, consisting of 30 minutes of paired reading and 30 minutes of reading extension activities. During this time, a trained volunteer or “Reading Sidekick”, will work with the students to provide them reading support. The students will be provided with eight books to read over the summer that is appropriate to their reading level.

The second group of students will function as a control group. The control group will also consist of 500 rising 3rd, rising 4th, and rising 5th-grade students. The students will be provided with eight books to read over the summer that is appropriate to their reading level but will not work with a “Reading Sidekick” or participate in the summer reading programs at the BGCSA or SA Youth.

After the pilot program has ended, SAYL will obtain the Fall 2018 MAP reading scores to compare with the Spring 2018 scores. The data will be aggregated for both groups to determine the impact of the Super Summer Readers program.

About Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio

Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio creates an engaging space for 8,900 youth. At the Clubs, members not only have fun, they stay safe, foster positive relationships, build self-confidence and succeed! The Clubs provide after school and Summer programs that develop Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Good Character and Leadership in youth, ages six-to-18 years old. For more information, visit

About SA Youth
SA Youth’s prime focus is helping young people achieve academic success, develop their character, and promote healthy lifestyles.

About San Antonio Youth Literacy

San Antonio’s Youth Literacy provides one-on-one support to children in San Antonio by empowering them with the skills needed to “read to learn” while fostering self-confidence and an enjoyment of reading.

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