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  • Steven Reynolds

Support from J2W Foundation Bolsters Literacy Among Club Kids in Dorchester County

Starting this fall, members at our Leonards Lane Club will benefit from enhanced resources to ensure literacy thanks to support from the J2W Foundation as part of their commitment to bring the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to Dorchester County. The Campaign is a collaborative effort across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school by focusing on an important predictor of success —grade-level reading by the end of third grade.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore (BGCMB) is one of many community stakeholders engaged in a collective impact model—led by the J2W Foundation—to bring the Campaign to the County’s more than 1,800 youth. From out-of-school time providers to city agencies, organizations across the community will come together to establish a shared vision, goals, accountability, and monitoring and evaluation programming, and to share successes and challenges as they improve, grow and evolve the campaign.

"What [the J2W Foundation] found is that a lot of these organizations were doing great things, just separately. Now we can all band together and try to reach every kid in the county," said Anna Piccirilli, BGCMB’s director of program quality & expansion.

At the Club, literacy is supported chiefly through our Power Hour program, which centers on homework help, tutoring, and high-yield learning activities so members become self-directed learners and achieve academic success. Staff track young people’s reading progress through IXL, a subscription-based site for K-12 students that offers personalized learning, and by monitoring report cards in partnership with local schools (Mace’s Lane Middle, Choptank Elementary, Sandy Hill Elementary, Maple Elementary). The Club will also employ our D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Challenge which invites Club members to read for one hour every day, and work closely with parents to encourage similar reading habits at home.

"We met with local libraries here in Dorchester, and they want to unite and come together for the greater good of our youth. With everyone working together, I know we can accomplish our goal," said Club Coordinator and Dorchester County resident Miriam Moran.

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