(Washington, D.C.) —Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism Executive Director Patricia Evans today announced that Serve DC was awarded a $150,000 Target Reading Grant, which will be used to fund DC Reading Corps, a pilot initiative aimed at helping children become more successful readers by the end of the third grade.
“The Target Reading Grant is a fine example of a public and private partnership being used to help our city continue to move forward” said Mayor Gray. “Early childhood education is critical to the long term academic success of our young people who will one day become part of our workforce.”
Based on a highly successful program model developed by Serve Minnesota, the DC Reading Corps program will place trained AmeriCorps tutors in preschool and elementary classrooms to implement researched-based early literacy instruction efforts to help struggling readers.
“We are excited to see this pilot program come to Washington, D.C. I believe that DC Reading Corps will have a great impact on children participating in the program that will have lasting effects on their academic achievement for years to come,” said Patricia Evans of Serve DC. “When children read with strong understanding at an early age it opens the doors to knowledge and opportunities.”
“To ensure more students are reading proficiently by the end of third grade, and in turn, graduating from high school on time, Target is dedicated to providing resources to help bring learning to life,” said Laysha Ward, President of Target Community Relations. “We’re proud to partner with Serve DC as part of our ongoing commitment to invest in innovative education programs that help keep children on the path to graduation.”
Target has been operating in Washington since 2008. This contribution is part of Target’s commitment to helping more U.S. children reach the critical academic milestone of reading proficiently by the end of third grade. Target is donating a total of $50 million to educators, schools and nonprofit organizations across the country to help ignite a love of learning among children.