FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2008
Press Contact: Mary-Anne Smith
Philadelphia Safe and Sound
215.568.0620, Ext. 108
PHILADELPHIA SAFE AND SOUND BRINGS EAGLES BOOK MOBILE BACK TO AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS
Improving Literacy One Child at a Time
Philadelphia, PA – Yesterday marked the beginning of the Eagles Book Mobile two-week tour of Philadelphia Safe and Sound’s afterschool programs. The Eagles Book Mobile first stopped at the Salvation Army Citadel afterschool program which serves 115 youth in the Lower Northeast region of the city.
Over the next two weeks, the Eagles Book Mobile will visit a total of 20 PSS-managed afterschool programs in 11 different ZIP codes throughout the city. Approximately, 1,126 children and youth will participate.
At each site the Storybook Man reads aloud to children and distributes a free, new book to each child, while inspiring them to think of reading as the cool thing to do.
“Research shows that illiteracy increases school drop-out rates. Our current citywide Report Card shows that more than one in five public high school students in Philadelphia drop out within four years of entering their freshman year. So, we wanted to bring the Eagles Book Mobile to our programs to get books into the hands of children, increase excitement about reading and improve literacy,” said Anne Shenberger, President and CEO of Philadelphia Safe and Sound.
Philadelphia Safe and Sound (PSS), a child advocacy, program management, and research organization, brought the Eagles Book Mobile to its afterschool programs for the first time last year in a one-week pilot program. The program was such a success that it was brought back again this year and expanded to a two-week tour.
The Eagles Book Mobile is a service provided by Eagles Youth Partnership, the public charity of the Philadelphia Eagles football team. Every spring and summer, the Eagles Book Mobile travels to hundreds of Philadelphia area schools, shelters, libraries, recreation centers and summer camps.
PHOTO CAPTION: Storybook Man shows Anayah Richardson, age 7, afterschool participant, just how fun reading can be.
Eagles Youth Partnership provides additional literacy statistics:
• Approximately 45% of children in Philadelphia public school are not reading at grade level by 4th grade.
• If students cannot read well by the end of 3rd grade, changes for futures school success greatly diminish. Illiteracy increases delinquent behavior.
• 25% of Americans cannot read a book to their child.
Philadelphia Safe and Sound (PSS)
PSS is an independent non-profit that seeks to improve the health, safety, and well-being of children and youth through research, advocacy and program management. The PSS Network of Afterschool and Youth Development Programs consists of more than 200 programs serving over 26,000 children a year. It includes the nationally renowned Beacon Program, the Afterschool Initiative, and violence prevention programs.
Eagles Youth Partnership (EYP)
EYP is a nonprofit organization that works to enhance opportunities and improve the quality of life for children and youth in the Greater Philadelphia region through health and education services. Each year, EYP serves over 50,000 low income children in the Greater Philadelphia region. EYP takes its services directly to kids at their school and in their neighborhoods via mobile services that include the Eagles Eye Mobile and the Eagles Book Mobile.