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Posted March 10, 2011

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APS Summer Literacy Program Gets Financial Boost

Stocker Foundation Donates $80,000 to Horizon Campaign

The push to read at an early age has never been more important, and Albuquerque Public Schools is getting help in that effort from a key ally.

The Stocker Foundation – no stranger to the cause of education in Albuquerque and around the nation – is announcing an $80,000 grant to the APS Education Foundation’s Horizon Campaign to help sustain the district’s 2011 Summer Literacy Program.

“The Stocker Foundation’s willingness to help APS is just breathtaking,” said Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus. “I know that their passion for kids will help make a difference where it’s needed most.”

Stocker’s grant will help the APS Summer Literacy Program, a four-year-old effort that provides instruction to children in the first through fifth grades who need help to improve their reading skills. The program helps reduce learning deficits and makes certain that students don’t regress academically during the summer months.

“Research tells us that during the summer months, students from economically-disadvantaged families fall significantly behind in reading, losing up to three months of progress,” said Patricia O’Brien, executive director of the Stocker Foundation. “Helping the Foundation to expand and further evaluate the effectiveness of the intensive summer reading program for struggling readers should reduce the negative impact of ‘summer reading slide,’ ultimately keeping students on track for a lifetime of reading/academic success.”

The Stocker Foundation is a private family foundation created by Beth K. Stocker in 1979 and is based in Lorain, Ohio. The foundation’s funding priority is to “lessen the reading achievement gap for under-resourced pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students.”  Bernalillo County is one of eight counties in five states across the United States that The Stocker Foundation targets for assistance.

Less than a year ago, the Stocker Foundation made a $50,000 grant to the APS Foundation in support of Albuquerque Reads, a private-public partnership that helps improve literacy skills at four APS elementary schools.

The Horizon Campaign is the Foundation’s first-ever attempt to raise $1 million on behalf of key programs within APS – fine arts, science/math/technology, middle and high school activities and literacy programs. It is well on its way to meeting that goal, closing in on $700,000 in cash and in-kind services.

For more information on the Horizon Campaign or the Foundation, call 878-6165 or go to www.apseducationfoundation.org.

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