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Local Non-Profits Join Forces with the Najim Foundation on Super Summer Readers program

The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, SA Youth and San Antonio Youth Literacy have joined

forces with the Najim Family Foundation to launch Super Summer Readers, a pilot program that focuses on

the importance of summer reading. The non-profits announced the program at the May’s Family Boys & Girls

Club on Tuesday, May 8.

Conceived and funded by Harvey E. Najim, the purpose of the Super Summer Readers program is to

determine whether a relationship with a caring supportive adult who assists children in summer reading

will help maintain, and/or enhance the child’s current reading level. The pilot program will include 500

rising 3 rd , rising 4 th , and rising 5 th grade students and aims at preventing the lower academic

achievements that are seen at the start of a new school year then they were at the beginning of summer

break.

“Eliminating Summer Learning Loss is the most important thing we can do to improve education for

low-income elementary school students,” said Harvey E. Najim, President of the Najim Family

Foundation.

“As a community, we must acknowledge and address the fact that reading achievement gaps in high

school students across the United States can be attributed in large part to unequal access to summer

learning opportunities during the elementary school years,” said Deborah L. Valdez, Executive Director

of San Antonio Youth Literacy.

OVERVIEW

Conceived and funded by Harvey E. Najim, the purpose of the Super Summer Readers program is to

determine whether a relationship with a caring supportive adult who assists children in summer reading

will help maintain, and/or enhance the child’s current reading level. The pilot program will include 500

rising 3 rd , rising 4 th , and rising 5 th grade students and aims at preventing the lower academic

achievements that are seen at the start of a new school year then they were at the beginning of summer

break. Although all three non-profits have different missions, they are uniquely aligned in supporting

academic success for low income children in San Antonio.

The 10-week program will provide the students with a designated reading time for one hour a day, three

days a week, consisting of 30 minutes of paired reading and 30 minutes of reading extension activities.

During this time, a trained volunteer or “Reading Sidekick”, will work with the students to provide them

reading support. The students will be provided with eight books to read over the summer that are

appropriate to their reading level.

A second group of students will function as a control group. The control group will also consist of 500

rising 3 rd , rising 4 th , and rising 5 th grade students. The students will be provided with eight books to read

over the summer that are appropriate to their reading level, but will not work with a “Reading Sidekick”

or participate in the summer reading programs at the BGCSA or SA Youth.

 

 

 

 


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School Partnerships

BGCSA and SA Youth have partnered with Harlandale ISD, San Antonio ISD, and KIPP for the Super

Summer Readers pilot program. Through these partnerships, SAYL will be able to obtain individual

student MAP scores. The school districts will also receive the final results of the summer program.

Training

SAYL will be responsible for providing training to all volunteers and reading specialists. The training will

provide an overview of the program and the goals. SAYL will provide training on how to structure the

reading time and complete reading logs for data collection. SAYL will also provide expertise in how to

support developing readers and understanding reading levels.

Incentives

All program participants at BGCSA and SA Youth will receive a T-Shirt with the Super Summer Readers

logo. Upon completion of 300 pages, participants will receive gift card(s) and a certificate of

achievement. At the end of the pilot program, BGCSA and SA Youth will have celebrations to

acknowledge completion of Super Summer Readers. We are grateful to receive our incentives from

Whataburger, HEB, and the Area Foundation.


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DATA ANALYSIS

The MAP reading scores for all 1,500 participants and control group students will be used to analyze the

data from the program. The Spring 2018 scores will be used as a pretest score and the Fall 2018 scores

will be used as a post-test score.

Once summer registration is finalized and all participants for the reading program are identified, SAYL

will work with the school districts to obtain the Spring 2018 scores. The 500 students who are

participating in the summer program will receive their books throughout the program. The other 500

students who are not participating in the program will receive their books before the school year ends.

An additional control group of 500 students will not attend the summer program or receive books, and

their pre and post scores will be used for comparison.

After the program has ended, BGCSA and SA Youth will use the Fall 2018 MAP reading scores to

compare to the Spring 2018 scores. Data will be aggregated for the participant group and also for the

control groups to determine the impact of the Super Summer Readers pilot program.

Book Selection

SAYL will use historical data to project the reading levels of the program participants. According to the

data, SAYL will order a total of 8,500 books to ensure that all participants can select 8 books that

correspond to the participants’ reading level and interests.

PARTNERING ORGANIZATIONS