Everybody Wins: A New Role for PSA Employees
This fall, 30 PSA employees take on a new role as volunteer Reading Mentors in the Power Lunch Program at DC’s Garrison Elementary School through Everybody Wins! DC (EW!DC). EW!DC is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting children’s literacy and a love of learning through shared reading experiences with caring individuals. As Reading Mentors, PSA employees are paired one-on-one with elementary school students to read together weekly for lunch.
EW!DC serves more than 5,000 underserved students with proven results in addressing a critical need in the nation’s capital. “Here in Washington, DC, only 14% of 4th graders and 12% of 8th graders read at the proficient level or above, and among 4th graders eligible for free or reduced lunch, an astonishing 71% read below the basic level. These are children at risk for failing – academically and socially.”(1)
In two independent evaluations, the Power Lunch Program “emerged as one of very few programs documented to effectively impact low-income students in reading comprehension, motivation, achievement, as well as overall academic performance, classroom behavior, self-confidence and social skills. Comparing Power Lunch with non-Power Lunch students, results show:
• More than twice as many Power Lunch students improved their academic performance compared to control group students.
• By the program's conclusion, 55% of Power Lunch students often or always enjoyed reading.
• 94% of Power Lunch teachers and volunteers reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the program. (2)
“The idea is simple: expose children to literature, inspire them to read, give them caring role models who read and talk with them each week, and you will make a significant difference in their lives. Many partners stay together for years (retention is a remarkable 70%) and below-grade-level reading decreases annually from 61% to 34%, with most students achieving competency. Everybody Wins! DC also distributes more than 7,000 books a year”. (3)
To learn more about Everybody Wins! DC, visit www.everybodywinsdc.org.