America Reads and Counts
The America Reads and Counts program is a federally funded program dedicated to increasing the reading and math proficiency of America’s youth from elementary to middle school students. Lehigh University has been a part of the America Reads program since 1997 and the America Counts program since 1999. Since then, through the hard work and dedication of Lehigh University’s student tutors along with the Community Service Office, the program built a firm foundation within the Bethlehem community by emphasizing, through practice, the importance of education. The program includes three after-school sites at Broughal Middle School, Fountain Hill at Fritz Memorial Church, and Fountain Hill at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, in addition to two in-school sites at Donegan Elementary School and Broughal Middle School. For Lehigh student tutors, the program has exposed them to the needs of their local community and has allowed them to invest their time and efforts into molding an education-oriented mindset one student at a time.
Donating to the America Reads and Counts program allows the program to take root in the next steps of responding to the community voice. Donations allow us to begin offering educational scholarships for students who have exemplified an appetite for learning, but may be limited by their financial status. These scholarships would not only serve as a means of monetary aid but will promote continuing education into high school and beyond. Especially considering that the America Reads and Counts program is mainly funded by the proceeds of the Great Southside Sale, where the Community Service Office and Lehigh Staff work together to sell donated items, there is a need for funding in order to allow Bethlehem students to reach and excel in secondary and higher education.
Some potential ideas for how the educational scholarships will be used:
- Scholarship fund reserved to be used once student is accepted to college
- Gift certificate for future SAT prep course
- Sponsoring of educational field trips for homework club students (such as the da Vinci Center in Allentown, PA or the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA)
- Purchase of educational tools such as graphing calculators, book bags, reading books, etc.
(Despite popular opinion of the elementary students, no funds will be allocated towards the purchase of a shrink ray.)