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Everybody Wins! To Pilot New Reading and Literacy Programs

NEW YORK, December 9, 2008 — The nonprofit literacy and mentoring organization Everybody Wins! is introducing new reading and literacy programs designed to reach the most disadvantaged children in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville area of Brooklyn. Designed to engage families and members of the community in reading to reinforce the importance of literacy in children's lives, the programs will be provided through Everybody Wins!'s new "Family Read" project and will be piloted at P.S. 260 Breuckelen School and P.S. 298 Dr. Betty Shabazz School.

"Everybody Wins! is thrilled to bring our reading and literacy programs to children and their families in one of New York's most underserved communities," said Deborah L. Seidel, executive director of Everybody Wins! "The Family Read project encourages children and their parents to find joy in reading and at the same time builds and enhances their literacy skills. We look forward to learning from this pilot and developing a model for programs that can be replicated in underserved communities throughout the country."

The Family Read project will: engage parents as reading mentors in the Breuckelen School and Dr. Betty Shabazz School; provide ongoing parent training and support; increase school library resources; provide books for children to take home; and feature special in-school literacy events. Everybody Wins! enlisted Dr. Kathleen Cashin, former superintendent of District 23 and CEO of the Knowledge Network Learning Support Organization, to design the programs for parent outreach and training and to assist in the programs' implementation in schools.

"This program will have a dual focus; we will improve the literacy of our children through oral read-alouds and shared reading, while improving the literacy of caring adults who are trained to implement the instructional strategies with these children," said Dr. Cashin.

The Family Read project is funded by a generous grant from University of Phoenix, which will also collaborate with Everybody Wins! and the Knowledge Network Learning Support Organization to design and build the programs’ training modules, supply online and library resources, and provide community outreach.

"We are honored to be working with Everybody Wins! and Dr. Cashin at the Knowledge Network Learning Support Organization," said Ayla Dickey, the University Vice President for Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility and the President of its Foundation. "Providing funding and resources to organizations that improve academic achievement, particularly at an early age, is a key part of our Foundation's mission and the Family Read project is set up and aimed towards meeting these important goals."

Everybody Wins! paid tribute to University of Phoenix for their support of the Family Read project at a recent fundraising gala at New York’s Rainbow Room. Committed to increasing access to education for underrepresented and at-risk students, University of Phoenix funds programs that promote school readiness, improve educational opportunities, and increase the rate of college and advanced degrees for these historically underserved students.

About Everybody Wins!

Everybody Wins! seeks to prepare disadvantaged children for the complex world they will face with programs that focus on the most basic and necessary skill--the ability to read well. A leading nonprofit literacy and mentoring organization since 1991, Everybody Wins! pairs caring adult volunteers with children in elementary schools for weekly reading aloud and conversation. The mission is to reach children while they are young, stimulate their interest in reading for pleasure, and encourage them to believe that they can succeed in school and ultimately, in life.


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As of August 31, 2008, 362,100 students were enrolled at University of Phoenix, the largest private university in North America. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world.

About Knowledge Network Learning Support Organization

The Knowledge Network LSO supports 97 schools in 4 of the 5 boroughs. They function as educators through the vigorous implementation of content areas in combination with literacy and mathematics K-12. Expert staff work closely with schools to promote the expansion of the knowledge base and vocabulary, and improve student comprehension.

About P.S. 260 Breuckelen School

The Breuckelen School serves approximately 450 students grades pre-K through 6. Almost 80 percent of the students are African American compared to a New York school average of 21 percent. Ninety-one percent of students are eligible for the free lunch program compared to a New York school average of 41 percent.

About P.S. 298 Dr. Betty Shabazz School

The Dr. Betty Shabazz School serves approximately 690 students grades pre-K through 6. Almost 90 percent of the students are African American compared to a New York school average of 21 percent. Ninety-six percent of students are eligible for the free lunch program compared to a New York school average of 41 percent.


Wendy Paul