Since December 2008, Kids Reading to Succeed (“KRS”) has been working with at-risk youth in Los Angeles county to inspire a love of reading and to impart the importance of strong literacy skills in school and beyond. KRS has been holding free Saturday reading programs at the STARS Afterschool Program in Pasadena, where volunteers provide one-on-one reading assistance to participating youth and then take part in a special themed project which incorporates literacy and career development. In July, KRS expanded its Saturday reading programs to two new sites. The first location is the Union Rescue Mission, a shelter on Skid Row in Los Angeles and one of the largest rescue missions of its kind in Los Angeles, and the second location is the Villa-Parke Community Center, a city-funded community center for low-income families in Pasadena. KRS will continue to operate its Saturday reading programs at the STARS Afterschool Program in Pasadena. “We are so excited to be serving even more kids in Los Angeles and Pasadena, and hope to make a difference in the lives of our youth,” said Deborah Yao, KRS’ executive director. “We’ve already seen first-hand what an impact personal attention and literacy development have on the academic success of KRS’ kids we’ve worked with already, and we hope to see the same results with our Saturday reading programs at Villa-Parke and the Union Rescue Mission.”
In conjunction with the opening of KRS’ new Saturday reading programs, KRS unveiled two youth libraries – the culmination of over six months of holding book drives and sorting and labeling books—which will be used by KRS youth on Saturdays. “We have a lot of people to thank for this massive effort to collect over 2,000 books, including private donors like the Pasadena After Hours Rotary Club and Boston Private Bank & Trust who donated considerable funds to purchase new books, and La Canada high school student Caroline Fontes, who single-handedly obtained donations of over 1,000 books as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project,” said Yao. For more information about the Kids Reading to Succeed program, and to volunteer at any of KRS’ three sites, visit www.kidsreadingtosucceed.org.