Deercreek Women’s Alliance Selects Literacy Pros of Jacksonville Again & Helps Meet Covid-19 Literacy Challenges
|In 2018, Literacy Pros of Jacksonville launched #Blue4Books, a collaborative reading initiative created to bring public safety officers and youth together for positive interactions. #Blue4Books was developed based upon research indicating that reading is a key component of successful futures in almost every career endeavor. |
Deercreek Women’s Alliance recognized the multifaceted, unique benefits of the program in 2019 and provided support. In addition to championing a love of reading and improved literacy skills among youth and children #Blue4Books partnered with JSO (Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office) uniformed officers to read and interact with youth by providing a positive experience with and an understanding of the role of public safety officers. Each program includes an age appropriate book discussion or craft and provides a snack during the program. Read2Lead was later added to serve teens.
Generous donors and supporters such as Deercreek Women’s Alliance were invaluable in initialing launching both #Blue4Books and Read2Lead, a reading and mentorship program developed for teens. Read2Lead is a six to eight week book-centered course led by a uniformed officer with a Literacy Pros volunteer. Since 2003, Literacy Pros has continuously served JSO inmates with an ongoing tutor training program teaching inmates to tutor fellow inmates to improve reading skills.
Grants and donor support enabled Literacy Pros to continue to meet literacy needs throughout Northeast Florida during the current pandemic. Funders quickly agreed that a new online portal for literacy programs and a more interactive and improved website would attract more users and serve additional needs. Social distancing forced some programs to be modified or delayed, but thanks to generosity and volunteers, Literacy Pros quickly adapted to virtual services. Tutor training is also now available online for interested volunteers.
Faced with different challenges due to Covid-19, the Literacy Pros of Jacksonville Board of Directors developed a virtual #Blue4Books program which will be available online for teachers and parents to access the same type of program. Future plans include the original onsite programs with officers and Literacy Pros volunteers at schools, churches, and afterschool programs along with an option to access the YouTube officer readings for a hybrid #Blue4Books. Consistent and ongoing support from organization such as Deercreek Women’s Alliance helps Literacy Pros create programs which address changing literacy needs of youth and families throughout northeast Florida.
Literacy Pros of Jacksonville, Inc. was founded in 2003 by a local group of dedicated literacy volunteers with a mission to effectively teach basic literacy skills and prepare interested tutors to become Certified Trainers. Affiliated with ProLiteracy America, Literacy Pros of Jacksonville offers tutor training for financial literacy, health and wellness literacy, and basic tutor training. Volunteers are welcome and needed in a variety of areas. For information visit literacyprosjacksonville.org and to volunteer call 904.210.6677, follow on FaceBook, or email firstname.lastname@example.org