September 30, 2015

For Immediate Release

Contact:        Natalie Eggeman (260-427-6028)

                        Public Information Officer

Fort Wayne, IN: Mayor Tom Henry is encouraging residents to volunteer at a new Project READS site opening soon in the McMillen Park Community Center, 3901 Abbott St. The City of Fort Wayne’s participation in the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which emphasizes the importance of reading at grade level by third grade, helped bring the program to the community center.

“Early literacy is critical as we invest in the future of our children,” said Mayor Henry. “I encourage residents to volunteer an hour of their time each week to make a difference in a child’s life, and by doing so, make our community a better place for everyone.”

Project READS is a local non-profit agency dedicated to helping K-3 students achieve grade-level reading goals. Volunteers are asked to commit one hour per week during after school hours to help students improve their literacy skills. Interested volunteers should visit www.AboutEducation.org to learn more.

“Project READS is pleased to partner with My Brother’s Keeper and the City of Fort Wayne in bringing our program to the McMillen Park Community Center,” said Project READS Executive Director Brian White. “This is a great opportunity for caring people in our community to give back by helping us grow a stronger community of eager young readers together.”

On Monday, October 5, from 5 to 8 pm, there will be an open house at McMillen Park Community Center for those interested in serving as a volunteer tutor. Representatives from Project READS will be available during the open house to answer questions and provide applications. The program is expected to kick off on October 14. In addition to the site at McMillen, Project READS also opened a new site at Bridge of Grace Church, 5100 Gaywood Dr.

The Mayor was joined by Park and Recreation Director Al Moll, 6th District City Councilman Glynn Hines, Project READS Executive Director Brian White, and My Brother’s Keeper/Cities United Director Iric Headley.

My Brother’s Keeper is a national effort helping boys and men of color reach their full potential through education, employment and engagement. Local goals that have been adopted include: 1) ensuring boys of color read at grade level by the third grade, 2) helping men of color access employment and career opportunities, and 3) preventing violence among boys and men of color.

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