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San Antonio nonprofits team up for summer literacy program

By May 8, 2018 No Comments

San Antonio nonprofits team up for summer literacy program

Harvey Najim speaks at the Corporate Philanthropy and Nonprofit Awards on Nov. 16, 2017, at the Pearl Stable in San Antonio.

GABE HERNANDEZ | SABJ

By SABJ Staff

May 3, 2018, 11:23am

A group of area nonprofits are launching a new pilot program focused on summer reading for San Antonio students.

The Najim Family Foundation, The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, SA Youth and San Antonio Youth Literacy (SAYL) are launching the Super Summer Readers program that focuses on the importance of summer reading. The non-profits will announce the program at the May’s Family Boys & Girls Club on Tuesday, May 8.

The program aims to help local kids continue reading throughout the summer and see what impact adult reading mentorship can have on student progress over the break, when academic progress can slow or even regress for some. If successful the program, it is likely to expand.

“Education is my passion and I have felt for awhile that if we could help minimize Summer Learning Loss, that we could help solve the education problem in San Antonio,” Harvey Najim, President of the Najim Family Foundation said. “If the outcomes in September show what I think they will, then I will lead the effort to reach 5,000 to 10,000 kids next summer.”

The pilot program will include 500 rising 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students and over 10 weeks, students in the pilot program will have a designated reading time for an hour a day, three days a week. Each hour will consist of 30 minutes of reading with a mentor and 30 minutes of activities related to the reading. Each student will get eight reading-level appropriate books for the program.

Another group of 500 rising 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students will act as a control group. Students in that group will also have eight books to read over the summer that are appropriate to their reading level, but will not work with a mentor or participate in the summer reading programs.

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.