COMMUNITY INVESTMENT STRATEGIES LAUNCHES LITERACY PROGRAM AT WINDSOR CRESCENT IN JACKSON, N.J.
‘Windsor Readers’ Earn Kindles, Gift Cards in Pilot Summer Reading Program
JACKSON, N.J., July 26, 2013 – Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc. is partnering with BEAM Housing Services on a pilot summer literacy program for children residing at Windsor Crescent, a townhome-style affordable rental community. The goal is to encourage children to read and increase student achievement in school.
The six-week reading program recently kicked off with seven children dubbed the “Windsor Readers.” The young participants – aged 8 to 12 – attend Jackson Township Schools. They are required to read a minimum of three books from their school’s reading list, as well as other suggested reading selections. Participants keep journals and meet once a week for one-hour book discussions with two certified New Jersey teachers. By working in small groups, the teachers can offer individualized attention and high-quality literacy activities.
“Our goal is to increase young people’s motivation to read and build their literacy skills,” said Dawn Malone, trustee of Beam Housing Services, Inc. and the program’s coordinator. “We want to give kids an advantage to avoid the ‘summer slide’ that happens when young people are not reading for three months.”
The literacy program is funded through private donations, which supplies all of the reading materials, instructors and incentives to help children accomplish their reading goals. To mark the successful completion of the program, a celebration is planned for mid-August. Participants who finish the program will be awarded Kindle e-readers and gift cards for school supplies.
The benefits of summer reading are numerous,” said Donna McIntire, regional manager for CIS, who along with Dawn Malone spearheaded the program. “Students who read not only experience greater success in school, but they also develop life-long reading habits that carry over into adulthood.”
The literacy program is an extension of CIS’ social program offerings at the company’s residential communities throughout New Jersey. Other programs have included resume-writing workshops, computer training and after-school programs. CIS hopes to expand the literacy program by implementing it in phases portfolio-wide.
CIS is a leading developer of multi-family housing, including 55+, senior housing and mixed-use redevelopments. The for-profit, certified woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) specializes in developing a broad spectrum of multi-family properties, ranging from multiplex apartments and townhomes to garden-style and mid- and high-rise complexes, encompassing more than 3,000 units valued in excess of $350 million.