Recognizing the importance of maintaining youth literacy and preventing “Summer Slide” in reading and comprehension skills, UGI donated funds to a number of summer reading programs across Pennsylvania. These initiatives advance reading skills among youth during the vacation months.
Education experts have long stressed the importance of early childhood literacy as a key to success in a student’s academic progress and in career pursuits as well. Studies show that 75 percent of students who are poor readers in third grade remain poor readers in high school and into adulthood.
Recognizing the importance of early childhood literacy, UGI has been a long-time supporter of programs designed to improve reading skills. In recent years, UGI has expanded that commitment to summer reading programs. Historically, more than 80 percent of children from economically disadvantaged communities lose reading skills over the summer months because of lack of access to books, learning resources and enrichment activities.
“The children of today will be the leaders of our region tomorrow,” Keith Dorman, UGI director of communications and community relations, said. “UGI’s investment in early childhood literacy is an investment in the continued success of our communities.”
“Read for Success,” a recent study conducted by Reading Is Fundamental across 41 school districts in 16 states, found that “summer slide” could be reversed by providing books and literacy materials for children to take home and keep. The model also provided professional development for in-school teachers and tools for parental engagement. The study – funded by a grant by the U.S. Department of Education – found that 57 percent of students actually improved reading ability during the summer months, with the greatest gains shown by students performing at the lowest reading levels.
The summer reading programs supported by UGI share the goal of putting books into the hands of children. Summer reading programs sponsored by UGI include:
UGI Utilities is a natural gas and electric utility with headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania. UGI serves 670,000 customers in 45 Pennsylvania counties and one county in Maryland. Customers and community members are invited to visit the UGI website at www.ugi.com; our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ugiutilities; or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ugi_utilities.
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