The Read A Hero Literacy Program partners with Boys & Girls Clubs to help raise literacy rates for their kids!
Our goal is to provide author Teresa Funke's successful Read A Hero Literacy Program to 25 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. Donors at the $250 level or above can help choose which clubs receive a program! The Read A Hero Program was developed to fit within the Boys & Girls Clubs' established education programs, using resources available at each club. It was also created to be flexible and easy to use, whether the program is run by the club's education director or a volunteer. The Program provides: - A five-unit curriculum incorporating standard literacy models. Each unit includes reading time, writing prompts, discussion questions, vocabulary games, and more. Each unit also includes at least one math, physical education, art, teamwork, history, or character-building activity. - A training session for each club. - A Skype visit with Teresa. - Posters and gifts for the kids. - And, of course, 25 FREE copies of Teresa's popular Home-Front Heroes children's books based on true stories from WWII for the kids to keep! The books are listed here: WAVE ME GOOD-BYE -- A Jewish girl in the Bronx befriends an English boy sent to America for safekeeping. THE NO-NO BOYS -- A Japanese-American boy in an internment camp must decide where his loyalties lie. V FOR VICTORY -- A Mexican-American boy in San Antonio helps a wounded veteran home from war. DOING MY PART -- A young girl takes a dangerous job at a war factory to support her family.Read More
Interview with Teresa FunkeRead Interview
Could you tell us about the organization this project will benefit?
Boys & Girls Clubs of America's mission is to "enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens." 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country serve over 4 million kids, providing safe havens for children after school and during the summer. Each club provides education and learning programs in all areas of development, as well as nutritional support and access to trusted advisors.
How will this project benefit the organization?
It helps them meet their specified goals to increase literacy rates in their kids and decrease summer learning loss. It also helps with their key long-term goals to ensure high graduation rates among their participants. Numerous studies have shown that students reading at grade level in elementary school are four times more likely to graduate high school.
How did you get involved with this organization?
I first became aware of Boys & Girls Clubs through my outreach to schools and through my Great Book Giveaway program in which we give free books to at-risk, low-income, and Hispanic children at Christmas. I was impressed with their structure and their emphasis on education and character building, and knew they were the perfect partner to help me launch an after-school and summer literacy program for low-income children. We shared common goals for success in their children. We ran the program in three Northern Colorado clubs for three years and met such amazing kids.
What gave you the idea to combine writing and philanthropy?
Philanthropy has always been a part of everything I do. In my company's mission statement, I vowed to "grow in conjunction with community service." When I became aware that nearly half of all low-income children don't own a single book, I began looking for ways to get my novels into the hands of children who need them. The response from the kids was overwhelming and heart warming, so I started contemplating how I could take things one step further and develop a literacy curriculum that would have a more direct impact on their learning.
What's next for you as a writer/philanthropist?
I'm constantly striving to find new ways to support reading, writing, and history education! We are currently running the Great Book Giveaway and the Author Visits to Schools Program with some sponsor money. I also take children for free to performances at our local children's theater to help expose them to the arts. It's also my hope to eventually fund a college scholarship for Boys & Girls Clubs kids.
How did you prepare yourself to turn your published book into a philanthropic project?
I'd had experience running other philanthropy projects through my company, but this one was special. It took us six months of working in conjunction with Boys & Girls Clubs to develop the five-unit literacy program in ways that would best fit the clubs' structures and resources. It took a full year of running the program to work the kinks out of the system.