Play golf, win raffle prizes for early literacy
A fun day on the golf course can help children boost their reading skills.
The third annual Isabel Serrazina Talk/Read/Succeed! Golf Tournament will be held this year on Monday July 20 at the Country Club of Wilbraham.
In addition to a fine day of golf, the event will feature lunch, dinner, and a chance to win golf and raffle prizes. It will also raise funds for T/R/S!, a collaborative, family-focused program that unites two Springfield Housing Authority developments, two Springfield public schools, and two dozen local agencies and groups, including the SHA, the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, the Springfield School Department, Springfield Education Association, Behavioral Health Network, among others.
The tournament began in 2013, the brainchild of Isabel Serrazina, a longtime SHA employee who died in early 2014 in an accident. Shortly before her death, she had been promoted to purchasing agent at the organization where she had worked her entire career, in various capacities.
The SHA Golf Committee – SHA Executive Director William H. Abrashkin and SHA employees Jake Bickman, Sean Cahillane, Nicole Contois, Richie Daigneault, Naomi DeChristopher, Kathy Hardy, Mary Ellen Lowney, Susan Staples and Pam Wells – agreed that naming the tournament after its founder would be a great way to continue the effort as well as to remember the much-loved Serrazina.
“The inspiration for the golf tournament came from Isabel,” explained Kathy Hardy, who is Human Resources director at SHA and has taken the lead on much of the planning of the tournament.
“In the beginning, we were looking for a way to fund the activities that T/R/S! has. Isabel came up with the idea for the golf tournament, and we decided to go for it. We were successful, and every year it gets better,” Hardy noted.
All funds from the tournament go to SHA’s non-profit arm, Springfield Housing Associates, Inc., and are available for programs delivered at John L. Sullivan and Robinson Gardens Apartments, and those connected with their partner schools, Boland and Dorman Elementary Schools.
T/R/S! programs embrace the entire family around the literacy effort, and include reading and art sessions, picnics, family counseling, and a summer learning program, which has shown consistently to retain or improve reading skills among participants during summer months when many children lose the literacy skills.
- T/R/S! serves 180 families and more than 350 children.
- 98% of children in the summer programs maintained or boosted literacy levels.
- 30% of participating parents engage in Adult Basic Education, English language classes, workforce training or employment.
- 17% of participating parents are engaged in parent-teacher organizations or resident councils.
- 60% of all parents at Sullivan and Robinson Gardens have participated in T/R/S! activities.
- Enrollment in early childhood education has increased from 40% to 60% with T/R/S!
- Enrollment in summer learning programs has increased from 20% to 66% with T/R/S!
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