CHILDREN LIVING AT WINDSOR CRESCENT EARN KINDLES, GIFT CARDS IN SUMMER READING PROGRAM
‘Windsor Readers’ Achieve Happy Ending
JACKSON, N.J., Aug. 20, 2013 – Seven children participating in a six-week literacy program at Windsor Crescent, a townhome-style affordable rental community, achieved a happy ending this summer. The reading program, implemented by Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc. in partnership with BEAM Housing Services, awarded the participants Kindle e-readers and gift cards for school supplies after they successfully completed the program.
“The children went above and beyond what was expected of them, reading at least six books each,” said Donna McIntire, regional manager for CIS, who along with Dawn Malone spearheaded the program. “At the end of the program, children were already asking us if we’re coming back next year and what we’re going to be doing in the fall.”
The third through seventh grade participants, dubbed the “Windsor Readers,” were required to fulfill their schools’ mandatory reading requirements while keeping journals and meeting once a week for one-hour book discussions with two certified New Jersey teachers. The teachers worked with the children in small groups to offer individualized attention and literacy building activities. In mid-August, a celebration was held to mark the completion of the program.
The success of the summer support program has spurred McIntire and Malone to extend it into the fall. “We are working with BEAM to continue the program and we’ve already received a generous amount of school supplies to distribute to young participants,” added McIntire.
“We want to offer an after-school enrichment program that would get children interested in reading while boosting their literacy skills,” said McIntire. “By building a strong reading plan out-of-school, we can play a key role in giving every child a chance to achieve greater success in school.”
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.
CIS offers a variety of social services at their residential communities located throughout New Jersey. In the past, community 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.