Summer Reading Incentive Program Inspires Students to Read this Summer

The Read to Succeed Summer Program is being launched today to incentivize elementary-school students to read this summer, earning $1,000 accounts in the CollegeBoundfund. The Program is conducted by Read to Succeed, Inc., a Rhode Island 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation founded this year.

For 2008, the Read to Succeed Summer Program is being offered to the 59 students who are about to complete the third grade at CVS Highlander Charter School, a public school; Bishop McVinney School, a Catholic school run by the Providence Diocese; and Community Preparatory School, an independent school. All are located in South Providence, serving primarily low-income, minority families.

The program requirement is that each student read six books and pass a computer-administered, 10-question, multiple-choice test on each book before the first school day of the 2008-09 academic year. Students who satisfy these requirements will have $1,000 deposited in their name with the CollegeBoundfund, Rhode Island's tax-advantaged college savings program

Read to Succeed, Inc. plans to continue the program, offering it to this summer's group for the next five summers. This will enable them to earn $6,000 over the course of the program. The deposits will appreciate free of federal and state tax. The program will provide the books to the students at no charge. Additional classes will be added in coming years as funds permit.

"While no one can guarantee the growth or decline of investments, experience indicates that the $6,000 deposited over six years, appreciating tax-free for a minimum of eight years, should grow to $10,000 - $12,000 by the time the students withdraw their savings," said Barbara Papitto, Read to Succeed, Inc. president.

"Educators agree that summer reading is essential to academic success," said Robert J. Shapiro, superintendent emeritus, Warwick (R.I.) Public Schools, and a consultant to the program. "Students who read during the summer begin the new year with a distinct advantage over those who do not. Students who fail to read during the summer tend to lose ground, beginning the school year less advanced academically than they were at the end of the previous school year."