Project: Be A Reader (BeAR) – school supplies

Affiliate: Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater

Project Cost: $7,475

Funding Need: $7,475

What it’s all about:

The mission of the Be A Reader (BeAR) literacy project is to coordinate a community-wide effort of volunteers to help at-risk, struggling readers acquire the skills and love for learning that lead to personal happiness and future success. BeAR is in eight local elementary schools, seven of which are considered Title 1 – schools that receive financial assistance due to the high number of children from low-income families – and currently pairs 115 students and 115 volunteers. Since 1999, more than 1,300 children, as well as their mentors, have benefitted from the program.

Students are recommended to the BeAR program by their teachers and/or reading specialists as needing supplemental help, and meet with their volunteer one-on-one for an hour each week. BeAR provides the students with a minimum of five books for their at-home library, school supplies, and a time commitment each week throughout the school year. In recent years, BeAR has provided a minimal amount of school supplies – consisting of pencils, a pencil sharpener, and a pencil case – because the majority of the budget goes toward the purchase of books. If fully funded, we could provide the students involved with the program their extensive supply list for the entire school year.

For more information, please contact Wendy Weissman with the Community Relations Council at or 757-965-6107.

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