Children seeking to improve their reading skills will be the beneficiaries of a $25,000 grant from Target stores. The grant was awarded to the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation this week.
"Reading Together is a program that gets to the very heart of learning -- reading. We are delighted to receive this grant from Target to support that important program in the Cherry Creek Schools," said Carolynn Bond Erickson, Executive Director of the Foundation.
This grant is part of ongoing efforts by Target to strengthen families and communities throughout the country. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income to communities. Today, that giving equals more than $3 million every week.
“At Target, our local grants are making a difference in communities across the country,” said Laysha Ward, the president of community relations for Target. “We’re proud to partner with the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation as part of our ongoing commitment to strengthen communities where our guests and team members live and work.”
Reading Together is a research-based, interactive peer teaching program in elementary schools. This program pairs students who have scored “partially proficient” or “unsatisfactory” on the CSAP with older students – resulting in impressive gains for both students. They follow scripted lesson plans that practice listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Craig Belshe oversees the program in the Cherry Creek Schools. "Both student tutors and student tutees who participated in the Reading Together program far exceeded expected growth measures in reading accuracy and comprehension," he said.
Last school year, 28 district elementary schools used the Reading Together program with approximately 550 second- through fifth-grade students participating.
Money received from the Target grant will be used to offset the cost of program materials for each tutor/tutee pair. These funds are vital to the success of the program, particularly in a time of decreasing resources to schools.
"We are grateful for the support of good corporate citizens like Target,” said Superintendent Mary Chesley. “These companies recognize the need for a well-educated workforce and support innovative efforts like Reading Together which help prepare students for success in college and the workplace.”