CASA Receives Reading Grant
From Community Foundation
Posted May 14, 2003
HOLLAND -- The Children's After School Achievement
(CASA) program will be able to do more to help children
learn to read thanks to a grant from the Youth Fund of The
Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area.
The foundation has awarded CASA $2,630 for "We're
Growing Readers," a program that will begin Monday, June 16,
and run for the duration of CASA's six-week summer session.
"Most of our students come to us below their grade
level in reading ability," said Fonda Green, who is
executive director of CASA. "Our theme this summer is
intended to help them improve their reading and enhance
their enthusiasm for reading--to help them develop skills
and interests that will make a difference to them for the
rest of their lives."
The project reinforces past success.
Traditionally, some 87 percent of CASA's students have
increased their reading scores after a year in the program.
The CASA program, a community organization based
at Hope College, works with at-risk first through fifth
grade students, focusing on academic and social development.
CASA runs year-round, providing wellness
education, cultural awareness, and academic enrichment to
the participating students. The program is intended to
improve their academic performance and help them develop
healthy, productive lifestyles. CASA's students meet after
school twice per week for 1.5 hours per session throughout
the school year, and in the mornings during the six-week
More than 100 children will be participating this
summer. "We're Growing Readers" will emphasize reading
ability and comprehension by providing opportunities to read
and by encouraging the children in their reading, and
through related writing and fine arts projects. The grant
from the foundation will help fund books and other supplies
as well as a culminating visit by an area writer or
Established by Marge Rivera Bermann in 1987, CASA
was originally administered by Latin Americans United for
Progress (LAUP) and housed at First United Methodist Church.
The program moved to Graves Hall at Hope College in 1989.