Ready, Set, Read!
Ready, Set, Read! will be the mantra for the 2011-2012 Washington County Youth Foundation members. Although members will be performing a variety of community service projects, their main focus will be addressing early literacy issues, as they continue their work on the Happily Ever After Project. “I am really excited about the upcoming year,) stated Samantha Cusick, President. “I feel like our group has a lot of fun together and works really well together. We have big shoes to fill from our great group of officers last year. However, in my opinion, that is what makes the experience even better; pushing ourselves to rise to the challenge given to us and to make the Washington County Youth Foundation the best that we can! We have a few ideas on some additional activities we want to implement this year. I am really looking forward to the upcoming year and giving back to our community that gives so much to us.”
The Happily Ever After Project is an initiative that the Youth Foundation started last school year. The goal is to instill a love of reading in every child’s life. “I absolutely love the Happily Ever After Project,” exclaims Cusick. “I am so happy and proud of the results from the first year. I really felt that we had a direct impact within our community and in the lives of the students that we read to. There is nothing more exciting or rewarding than watching the youth of our community fall in love with learning. It made me appreciate my education even more and encouraged me to enjoy learning even more. I feel so blessed that I have been able to be a part of this program. I look forward to continuing our mission of building our project and making it even more successful.”
Phase 1, which will begin its second year, consists of high school students going to elementary rooms to read a book (with a structured lesson plan) to the students. The high school students model the behavior that “reading is cool.” In addition to reading time, the Washington County Youth Foundation members will also give away books at least three times this school year. To pay for one of the give-aways, the Youth Foundations members will each pay $25.00. They are currently seeking sponsors for the other two give-aways. "We have big things planned for WCYF this year,” commented Sarah Fisher, Vice-President. “The Happily Ever After Project is definitely going to be our main focus. We hope to keep the project growing year after year, involving as many people as we can. It's important that we try to share the love of reading with a younger generation."
Phase II of the Happily Ever After Project will address early literacy for Washington County youth pre-school age and younger. In order to finance this expensive undertaking, the Youth Foundation will conduct two fundraisers, one at county middle school and one at county grade schools. The current goal is to get this program started in the next few years.
The Youth Foundation will also be heavily involved in community service. From outdoor grounds-keeping to Christmas Assistance, they will be making a difference in our community. Last year the Washington County Youth Foundation performed almost 300 hours of service. This year’s tally should be even higher with the addition of 8 additional members.
The Washington County Youth Foundation recruits new members in the spring of the year. For more information, visit the Washington County Community Foundation website, www.wccf.biz.
Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever