Ongoing: READING ROOM IN HARVEY, ILLINOIS
Our 2000-book reading room in Harvey continues to serve as a weekly free bookstore for after-school participants, and a haven for kids with no quiet place to read. In 2014, we again paired field-trips with specific books. Two groups of book-clubs visited the Thorne Rooms at Chicago’s Art Institute, after reading books in Marianne Malone’s The Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventures series.
We continue to distribute new books every week. If you can donate to purchase new books, now is always the right time!
Better schools for BREAD readers
As our initial BREAD readers age, we have endeavored to foster parental interest in quality education options, both at the high school and college levels. In 2014, we made some heartening progress. We helped several high school seniors from our BREAD-alum group analyze their career goals, identify potential colleges, and complete applications. We also supported one student through the extensive application process for a QuestBridge scholarship. On December 1st, Maria learned that she had indeed been matched with a QuestBridge partner college: only four percent of applicants so matched. She will enter The University of Notre Dame in Fall, 2015, on a full tuition and housing scholarship.
Although any college scholarship is indeed life-altering, what students need are rigorous high school educations that prepare them for college-level work. Compare the local Harvey high school, where only one percent of students hit the college-benchmark scores on all four ACT subjects. For even the brightest kids, poor high-school educations render future attainment a vanishingly-small prospect.
BREAD this Fall partnered with the after-school site to inform parents of junior high readers of high school options, including scholarship availability. Two of the 8th graders are actively pursuing those options, have completed scholarship applications and will take entrance examinations in January, 2015. We also brought six families to the December, 2014 open house at well-regarded Marian Catholic High School, in nearby Chicago Heights.
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