By Rosanne Dechicchio
Special to the Delray Beach Tribune
DELRAY BEACH – The City’s Campaign for Grade Level Reading received a $5,000 donation from AmTrust Bank to buy books for the City’s 2013 summer reading program.
This donation will provide each kindergarten and first-grade student at Orchard View and Pine Grove elementary schools with a “Reading Pack”, five to eight high-quality and engaging books and individually created activity sheets to enhance the at-home learning experience.
“The City extends its appreciation to AmTrust Bank for the generous donation to our Campaign for Grade Level Reading,” said Janet Meeks, education coordinator for the City of Delray Beach. “Putting a book in a child’s hands over the summer provides an opportunity to prevent the ‘summer learning slide’ and promote academic success.”
Research suggests that by providing access to books at home, in school, and over the summer months contributes to improving the reading achievement levels among all children, Meeks added.
The City’s Campaign for Grade Level Reading, which is part of a national campaign to promote grade level reading by the third grade, was created through the understanding that local schools alone cannot address all of the problems that keep children from learning to read.
As a result, the City partnered with a coalition of community, civic and business leaders, non-profit agencies, educators and City representatives who believed in this important issue and committed to participating in the development and implementation of a new reading initiative that will benefit our local children and our community.
In Delray Beach, the focus for the third grade level reading initiative is based on three key strategies:
. Ensuring children arrive in kindergarten prepared to succeed
. Improving attendance levels
. Increasing educational opportunities during the summer months
Brian Lynott, regional executive and first vice president of AmTrust Bank in Delray Beach, learned about the shortage of reading material through discussions with the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce. He saw and understood the need to enable children to have access to books over the summer and coordinated AmTrust Bank’s contribution to the City’s reading program.