Illinois PTA’s Southern Region partnered with the Academic Development Institute to bring in a 21st Century Grant to provide after-school programs for several elementary and middle schools in East St. Louis. The grant requires parent engagement and education events, and Southern Region helped meet those requirements by bringing two Family Reading Experience events to the area.
Using the ready-to-go materials from the Family Reading Experience, a handful of volunteers were able to conduct two very well attended events that were enthusiastically received. Southern Region used some of its funds to purchase two Kindles, one to be awarded at each event, and worked with teachers from each school to get the students set up with downloading books (especially free ones).
There were 18 backpacks with school supplies left over from Southern Region’s Back-to-School BASH in the fall, and those were also given away in drawings at the two events. Finally, Southern Region had collected donations of gently-used children’s books, and every child attending went home with at least three books. It was an amazing and inspiring pair of events that, other than the purchase of a pair of Kindles, cost very little and was a huge hit with everyone.
Reminder: Share and Win!
During the month of March, which is National Reading Month, Illinois PTA will feature two PTAs and their reading event each week in our Weekend Update. Submit a summary, 250 words or less, of the highlights and achievements of a current reading program you held along with photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your program is chosen as one of the weekly featured PTAs, your PTA will be put into a drawing to win a free registration to the Illinois PTA 113th Annual Convention on April 17-18. Two winning PTAs will be drawn from those featured, so start planning your event now!