Project READ is often seen as we walk by to our classes but often, we do not acknowledge it and what a massive impact it has on our community. Project READ began as an adult literacy group in 1988 and started helping children in 1999, now Project READ is a year-round organization dedicated to building strong workers, strong families and healthy communities through lifelong literacy.
Over 100 organizations, schools and businesses are committed to building literacy in the Miami Valley and they do this through Project READ. All services are free of charge and they rely on charity from local businesses, foundations, private contributors and the United Way.
They operate 5 programs and also participate in Community Outreach activities to inform Dayton residents about Project READ’s different services and volunteer opportunities and to provide books. Project READ’s programs include The Project Read Helpline, The Adult and Youth Literacy Services Programs, The Paid Volunteer Program and the Book Distribution Project. Each of these programs assists people in the local area who want to thrive and be successful. Project READ partners with many local area schools to deliver these services to people who need it the most.
“Education equals emancipation,” says Kevin Sorice, the executive director of Project Read. He believes that having strong literacy skills provides advancement in both school and the workforce.
Sorice was chosen to be the head of Project READ because he wanted to make a positive impact on his community and also to teach and empower people to make realistic changes so they are able to find successful employment. Sorice also emphasizes that literacy skills can help a person develop and apply critical thinking skills and also have them meet the certain benchmarks required to succeed in school and in life.
Everyone can support Project READ by donating books at six different area locations. The Greene, Whole Foods in Centerville, Earl Heck Community Center in Englewood and Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Dayton can all take any gently used books. Also, there is a book distribution center in Centerville or books can also be donated to Project READ’s office in Building 3, Room 142.
In 2019 alone, Project READ was able to provide 18,445 books to schools, non-profit organizations and to children and families. Sinclair students can volunteer, especially through the Tutors Like Me program, which pairs students of color with a tutor who looks like them and is willing to teach them and many more tutoring opportunities for everyone. Also, there are federal work-study jobs available for Sinclair students.
Hundreds of local children and adults have been mentored by the many volunteers that have dedicated their time to helping these people succeed. Being a volunteer for Project READ would allow people to help others and make an impact on their community as literacy skills is vital for success both in the classroom.
Project READ also has free GED and ESOL classes, dedicated to helping people be successful in everyday life. Project READ is there to help these people, so they can have a fair and equal chance of succeeding.