Ministry Saint Clare’s Helps Expand DC Everest Rolling Readers Program
During the summer of 2015, The DC Everest Area School District (DCE) enhanced several initiatives to encourage students to read during the summer months in order to retain their reading proficiency, comprehension and vocabulary skills.
One of those initiatives was the Rolling Readers Program. Throughout the summer, the Rolling Readers van visited five locations within the DCE District to provide students with reading materials they could borrow during the summer.
DCE partnered with Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston and "Blessings in a Backpack" to expand the program — providing students with a free book and seven days of nutritious, easy-to-prepare meals and snacks throughout the summer.
Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital funded a grant to provide each child with approximately 10 free books they could keep and a bag of food each week. "Blessings in a Backpack" and its community volunteers facilitated the purchase and packing of the food bags. Each bag consists of seven breakfasts, seven lunches and seven snacks.
"The Rolling Readers program has doubled since last summer," said Mary Jo Lechner, DCE assistant superintendent, curriculum and learning. "Each week we have about 80 students visit the Rolling Readers van to choose fresh reading materials and take home a bag full of food. We are grateful to both Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital and "Blessings in a Backpack" for their generosity. The kids are so excited to pick out new books each week and to enjoy a healthy snack while reading — we’ve had an overwhelming response from the students and their parents."
"Education is an essential component to ensuring that children attain their highest potential. Reading books helps to develop children’s imaginations as well as fostering their desire to learn. The added component of providing food guarantees children’s minds and bodies are being provided for during the summer break," said Antonina Olszewski of Ministry Saint Clare’s.
"’Blessings in a Backpack’ is committed to providing food to our community children while they are not in school. These children depend on breakfast and lunch programs during the school year. We are trying to bridge the gap for these children both over the weekends during the school year and during the summer by working with the Rolling Readers and summer school programs," said Margaret P’ng of "Blessings in a Backpack," D.C. Everest-Wausau.
Published November 2015