Dollar General Literacy Foundation Again Supports Daemen Reading Camp

Daemen Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement Will Lead Summer Reading Camp in Seneca Babcock

May 20, 2011



Contact:    Mike Andrei

                   Director-College Relations

                   Cheryl Bird
Program    Executive Director
Contact:   Daemen College Center for Sustainable   
                  Communities and Civic Engagement
                  (716) 839-8489 



           This summer, Daemen College, with support from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, will again conduct a reading camp for students from Buffalo’s Seneca Babcock neighborhood. The two-week camp is supported by $2450 awarded to Cheryl Bird, Executive Director of the Daemen Center for Sustainable Communities & Civic Engagement (CSCCE), from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation Summer Reading Program Grant program.


           The camp will be led by Bird together with over 60 volunteers from throughout WNY, and including a group of 23 who will be traveling from Duluth, Georgia, to participate. The volunteers – community members, parents, and students – will assist with preparing school supplies, back packs, classroom activities, and a graduation event.


          “The purpose of the camp is to engage 70 low-income children in reading activities during the summer months so that they are better prepared for the next academic year,” Bird stated. “We will serve children in first through eighth grade who are identified as struggling with serious reading difficulties. Seneca Babcock is one of the lowest income neighborhoods in Buffalo; it is a community that Daemen College has assisted in many ways for more than a decade.


           “Participating students will receive backpacks with new school supplies at the end of the camp. Daemen College has successfully run this program since 2003, and has served over 900 children to date. Offering the reading camps is part of our goal to prepare students from Seneca Babcock for academic success.”


           While students who participate in the reading camp are enrolled primarily in three  schools – Southside Elementary, Lorraine Academy, and Discovery Academy – the camp will take place at the Seneca Street Church in Seneca Babcock. A final celebration and graduation will be held on the last day of the camp.


           This is the second recent grant Daemen has received from Dollar General’s Literacy Foundation. In 2009, the College received $2,610, awarded to the Reynolds Center for Special Education and After-School Programs at Daemen.  The Center and its executive director, Elizabeth Wright, used the funds to acquire ONfinity, a learning tool for children who struggle with reading. The portable, interactive whiteboard system  transforms any flat surface into a touch screen; it is estimated that over 100 students per year now use this equipment in after-school and summer programs offered by the College.


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