Talk/Read/Succeed! is a collaborative program that unites two Springfield Housing Authority developments – John L. Sullivan Apartments and John I. Robinson Gardens—with two city elementary schools, Edward P. Boland and Hiram L. Dorman—in an effort to boost early literacy.
Funded primarily with a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and guided by the Davis Foundation, T/R/S! marshals a broad-based coalition to bring lasting and positive changes for SHA families and the Springfield community.
The program has zeroed in and continued to press on five goals:
- Boost parent involvement in their children’s early literacy and education.
- Improve access to early education and smooth transition to kindergarten.
- Expand participation in summer programs.
- Promote family stability, self-sufficiency, and health.
- Align social and family services for easy access.
Some two dozen local agencies participate, including United Way of Pioneer Valley Square One, Springfield Education Association, and the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, the Springfield Parent Academy, the Behavioral Health Network and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
The program goal is to make children successful readers starting from the earliest ages and extending through grade three. To accomplish this ambitious goal, Talk/Read/Succeed! provides an array ofprogramming and services to adults and children of all ages, under the philosophy that children succeed best when their families learn good child-rearing skills and receive support at every turn.
In just two years, T/R/S! has shown success in empowering parents to participate in the early literacy process, and with children. The Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative has proven successful in boosting or retaining reading levels when most children slip back while school is out.
- Youth Scholarships: The Farris Mitchell Scholarship provides a one-time, $1,000 scholarship to a qualifying Springfield Housing Authority resident who is going to college.
- After School and Summer Programs: Families living in Springfield Housing Authority developments will find there are programs for their children after school and during summer vacations.