Elementary schools across Berks County have received extra support from United Way COVID-19 Education Response Grants. Twenty-six schools representing 12 local school districts have been awarded grants to help students, teachers and families face a variety of challenges as the new school year launches during the pandemic. The grants awarded total nearly $95,800.
United Way's Ready.Set.READ! initiative, focused on improving early grade reading proficiency, announced the grant opportunity in July 2020. Each elementary school could request up to $5,000 to support programming to mitigate learning loss and /or help students cope with the emotional and social trauma.
Examples of programs supported by the grants include implementing supplemental literacy programs, developing digital learning strategies, creating trauma sensitive classrooms, supporting professional development training for teachers on the social nature of virtual learning and supporting materials for home libraries and family resources.
Grant applications were reviewed by a panel of community volunteers with experience in the educational sector and represented United Way and Ready.Set.READ! board members. All grants were approved by United Way of Berks County's Executive Committee.