June 30, 2020, Allentown, PA – In the spring of 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PA DCED) approved two educational initiatives offered by the Allentown School District Foundation (ASDF). The EITC approval of literacy and civic education allows for companies to take advantage of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) so that the Foundation can develop these programs with the support of EITC funds from businesses in the commonwealth. These two academic areas, literacy and civic education, are important for students’ continued learning of language and of the role of citizenship in a democracy.
Two literacy program initiatives have been approved, including an expansion of the Volunteer Reader program and the “I Am On a Bookshelf” program which started at Lehigh Parkway Elementary School from an ASDF-sponsored Teacher Innovation Grant. Volunteers sign up to attend a training session and then are connected to work with K-1 students in elementary schools on phonics, sight word recognition and guided reading at the direction of classroom teachers. The volunteer reading program hopes to help students read at grade level by third grade, enabling them to read to learn for greater success thereafter. The “I Am On a Bookshelf” program sparks students’ creativity, motivating them to research, outline, write, photograph, illustrate and publish the actual hard-bound books they have created. A curriculum guide for the Bookshelf program has been developed and is ready to be shared with other elementary and middle school teachers in the district.
The ASD Foundation plans to provide funding to schools to offer civic education programs at the elementary and middle school level which emphasizes civic duty. Local veterans have been a part of many ASD programs over the years. The civic education models at Ritter Elementary School and Trexler Middle School include such special activities as a general assembly, student mentorships and interviews with local veterans. Students also create presentations and have important conversations about equity, justice, freedom, the U.S. Constitution, and related American history.
ASD Foundation Mission
The ASD Foundation has a mission to encourage, promote, support, and fund positive educational experiences for students in the Allentown School District.
Contact Information: Susan L. Williams, ASDF Executive Director, at 484-765-4093 or email@example.com. The mailing address is P.O. Box 328, 31 South Penn Street, Allentown, PA, 18105.
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Office of Communications
Allentown School District