Alvernia’s Reading Youth Initiative organizes the third annual Books for Bikes
With the support of Customer bankAlvernia University Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement distributed 59 bicycles and helmets to students at the center Youth Reading Initiative Summer school program in recognition of their dedication to literacy and summer education programs.
“Through their summer literacy work, students explore stories of adventure, hope and opportunity on the pages of their favorite books,” said Alvernia’s Vice President for Mission, diversity and inclusion, Dr. Darryl C. Mace. “The Holleran Center is proud to partner with our community on this youth empowerment program which fosters a love of reading and develops vital literacy skills in our talented young people in the city of Reading.”
United Way of Berks County first introduced the Books for Bikes program through Ready.Set.READ! It has evolved to include summer literacy programs run by community organizations and institutions, including YMCA of Reading and Berks County and the University of Alvernia. Participation has continued to grow every year since the program launched in 2016.
“Customers Bank is proud to continue the six-year tradition of Books for Bikes started by my predecessor Dick Ehst,” said Customers Bank President and CEO Sam Sidhu. “We recognize that tackling the ‘summer slide’ in which students lose academic ground by not reading and working on vocabulary during the summer holidays is key to improving literacy. We are happy to work with Alvernia University, United Way of Berks County, YMCA of Reading and Berks and all READYs. POSITION. LILY. the partners.”
In addition to bicycles and helmets that were distributed to Millmont and Tyson-Schoener Elementary Schools, each student received 10 books to build their personal library. Students with 80% participation in the summer school and accompanying daily literacy activities won the prizes courtesy of Customers Bank. The Holleran Center has also joined forces with Reading Science Center, Yocum Institute, Public reading libraryand Alvernia Environmental Students for fun and educational activities during the program.
The Reading Youth Initiative aims to promote lifelong education, mentorship and support for healthy choices among children living or attending school in the Greater Reading area. Since its inception in the summer of 2006, the Reading Youth Initiative has interacted with more than 1,600 young people, offering annual summer camps, after-school mentoring and educational enrichment programs during the school year, and a variety of cultural activities, including visits to museums, sporting events. and educational field trips to the Greater Reading and Philadelphia area.
Rooted in the Franciscan identity of Alvernia University and its mission as an institution of teaching and learning, the Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement identifies, cultivates and maintains strategic partnerships to strengthen at both campus and community life. By making these community partnerships an essential part of the program, the Holleran Center strives to promote the University’s mission and enhance the quality of life in the community and to develop in its students a lifelong commitment to service by as engaged citizens.