The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) and Westerville Partners for Education (WPE) today announced an exciting collaborative effort to support student literacy this summer with their new StoryBox program.
“We know that ‘summer slide’ is a real thing,” said WPE President Lesley Walden. “Student literacy and comprehension skills fall over the summer months every year, and we expect to see even more of that this year with access to libraries restricted over the summer and more families staying home and indoors. We wanted to find a way to help; StoryBox was born of that need.”
Through the StoryBox program, four new books will be mailed to every student in kindergarten through third grade who is recommended for summer intervention with Westerville City Schools. The books have been selected by district reading specialists and will be sent based on each student’s reading level.
“Getting books into the hands of kids to read is always important, but is even more paramount given our current situation the past two months of having to stay at home,” said Director of Assessment and Alternative Education Services Dr. Scott Ebbrecht, who oversees the district’s summer learning programs. “The generosity of the Westerville Education Foundation and Westerville Partners for Education in developing this program is both impressive and truly valued.”
Walden added that WPE’s recent partnership with Reading Matters Westerville is a great fit for this program and has been an integral part in the development of StoryBox. In addition to the books, students will have access to an online StoryBox Video Library of guest readers demonstrating the reading of the books that student has received in their StoryBox. Students across the district can access the entire video library of the books included in the program and enjoy a virtual story time reading.
“This is just the right time for the right program,” explained WEF Board member Amy Raubenolt. “By combining the gift of books with an online video library of local guest readers sharing those books, we want StoryBox to be a gateway into books for young readers this summer. It doesn't just give them free books; it connects students with a community that cares about books and about reading with them. We're thrilled to get the program off the ground this summer and see how we might grow it in the future.”
Community members are invited to use the following link to sponsor StoryBox reader or readers at $25 for each reader: www.westervilleeducationfoundation.com/p/81/storybox. Email WEF Executive Director Colleen Moidu, at ExecutiveDirector@WestervilleEducationFoundation.com for additional information.