The Springfield Housing Authority, the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, and others in this Western Massachusetts city last week launched Talk/Read/Succeed! — an early literacy project to help ensure that the children in 200 families in two public housing developments are proficient readers by the end of third grade. Talk/Read/Succeed! is part of the Davis Foundation’s broader Read! Reading Success by Fourth Grade initiative.
With the support of a $390,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Talk/Read/Succeed! will provide parent education workshops, home visiting from teachers, adult education and job training for adults and early education, after-school and summer programs for children in the John L. Sullivan and John I. Robinson developments.
Timothy Collins, president of the Springfield Education Association, told WFCR-FM that he was excited by an initiative that focuses on solutions rather than waiting to solve problems. In a separate interview with WAMC-FM, he said, “It is my fervent hope that at the end of this project – and we continue it for the next four or five years – we will have data that show this is the way to change the lives of the children in our charge.”
In addition to the housing authority, Davis Foundation and education association, other partners include Pioneer Valley United Way and the Hampden County Regional Employment Board.
Last week’s announcement follows the release in June of a blueprint for reading success in Springfield by the Davis Foundation’s Cherish Every Child initiative and of the report “Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success” commissioned by Strategies for Children, Inc.