Share the Magic Foundation – the nonprofit organization of former UGA Football Star, NFL Super Bowl Champion and Author Malcolm Mitchell – and the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA have teamed up to launch a special after-school reading program for Atlanta youth who are at high risk of academic failure.
READTeam was formed to directly address low reading proficiency levels and introduce early learners to the long-term benefits of being an active reader. The eight-month pilot of the program will involve 50 Atlanta Public School students in grades 2 through 6, whose reading scores are one to two years behind reading proficiency standards.
Through grant support from Wells Fargo, the Bennett Thrasher Foundation and KPMG, students will amass their own home library of 20 books by the end of the program.
“We are very excited to team up with Share the Magic Foundation to expand our after-school program to include a focus on building vocabulary and reading comprehension skills,” Gavin McGuire, executive director of the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA, said. “Reading is a fundamental skill —crucial for academic and life success. The support our students will receive from their Literacy Coaches as part of READTeam will be invaluable.”
“Research repeatedly shows that motivation to read decreases with age, especially if a child’s attitude towards reading is not positive,” said Beth Pann, executive director of Share the Magic Foundation. “Through this partnership, we are building a literacy-focused model complementary to the Young Family YMCA’s existing after-school program. Our goal is to support each student in meeting, or exceeding, grade-level milestones in reading proficiency.”