Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

"Perry Family Literacy Center Receives Boost in Funding"

Aug 29, 2014 | Posted in News

The Warsaw Country Courier- August 29, 2014:

The Perry Family Literacy Center (PFLC) has recently received multiple grants that will help the organization expand and offer more programs to young readers.

The literacy center has received a combined $8,900 from various sources since late June. Donations include $500 from the Wyoming Foundation for an iPad and literacy applications, and $5,000 from multiple organizations that was allocated through the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Most recently, the PFLC received $3,400 from the Navient Foundation.

“That money is to fund expanding programs, recruit second graders and add more tutors,” PFLC Director Marcie Monegro said.

The Literacy Center opened last April in order to help children within Perry hone their language and reading skills. It offers one-on-one tutoring classes for primarily pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-graders, and seeks to provide support for parents. Kids receive intervention and enrichment for their reading skills, while parents are taught what strategies they can focus on at home.

The center has also held parent workshops and outreach programs to get kids interested in reading at home alongside their parents.

Since the center opened, a local organization has financed a large portion of its bill. Grateful to that organization, Monegro said the center began exploring other options to give it some relief.

“We have a local foundation that has been very generous in supporting our efforts and our expansion and creation,” Monegro said, “but it was decided upon by the (PFLC) board that we should start looking at other funding options to expand what we offer and provide more support for our programs, so it's not strictly funded by one organization.”

By branching out and receiving funds from other sources, it has proven to be a positive move.

When the literacy center opened last year, services were offered for only pre-kindergarten students, and 13 students had been signed up. Last September, it began accepting kindergarteners, then first-graders in January and incoming second-graders this summer, and now it has grown to 32 students.

With the grants, Monegro said the PFLC is purchasing more materials that meet the needs of its older students.

“Materials that focus more on fluency as opposed to early literacy skills like letter identification, sound identification, things like that,” Monegro said. “And then we're also looking to expand what we offer to parents.”

The center will host parent workshops this fall – currently it has three scheduled – and it will also have a Halloween-themed event focused on literature and reading.

With the iPad, Monegro said the center can integrate technology into its lessons, where students have also become more motivated and more likely to stay on-track.

“It gives them an incentive for after the lesson,” she said and noted that it's something the students really want to use.
In the future, Monegro said she sees more opportunities for grant money. She said the organizations that have donated have given her positive feedback and told the center they want to continue donating.

As for expanding to possibly add third-graders, it is a decision that is up in the air.

“I guess it depends where we're at financially, if that is a move we can make and to see if the interest is there for the higher grades, but it is a possibility,” Monegro said.

Monegro invites parents and anybody who wishes to become a volunteer tutor to contact her at the Literacy Center. She can be reached by calling (585) 507-7095, or by emailing perryliteracycenter@gmail.com.

To view this story in the Warsaw Country Courier, click here.

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