Our goal as an organization is to help youth reach their full potential by ensuring they have access to the tools they need to pursue greatness. We believe every child, no matter his or her circumstances or background, needs mentors and champions; and it is our privilege to invest in opportunities and resources our youth need to help them unlock their greatest potential.

In an effort to tackle the academic achievement gap youth face, we introduced our Early Literacy Program in 2014 to strengthen and build literacy skills in K-3rd grade students. This program addresses the literacy gap by meeting students at their current literacy level using a curriculum that helps participants develop phonics, fluency, and comprehension skills.

In the 2018-2019 school year, a partnership with Santa Ana Unified School District allowed us to serve 875 K-3rd grade students at 11 schools who were not reading at grade level. Of the students served, 27% made strategic improvements in reading at grade level, and 93% showed measurable growth in their literacy and phonics skills.

Unfortunately, the program had to stop serving students in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 restrictions for in-person support at local schools. However, the need for support has grown dramatically higher since then. Studies show that current 3rd-grade students (who were kindergarteners when the pandemic began) have the largest reading achievement gap, and at least 23% of students have decreased in math achievement.

Through a new partnership with Teacher Created Materials (TCM), we are reintroducing our Early Literacy program in an Academic Reinforcement Program that will offer literacy and math support to students in need. A soft launch will begin in January to serve approximately 37 K-4th grade students in our Santa Ana Club, and full program implementation to occur at the start of the new school year in August with the goal to serve 400 students in our partner schools in Orange Unified School District.

Students participating in the program will be placed in small groups with others in the same skill level with a student-to-teacher ratio of 8:1. Groups will meet twice a week with our trained Mentor Professionals who guide them through the reading and math curriculum provided by TCM. On average, most students stay in the program for three years, significantly improving their literacy and math skills.

“We’re honored to partner with Teacher Created Materials in our efforts to close the academic achievement gap. TCM has played a critical role by providing materials that inspire a love for learning and a spark for curiosity.” — Robert Santana, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast

To make our vision of youth achieving their greatest potential a reality, we must address the academic achievement gap and remove as many barriers to literacy and math enrichment as possible. To learn more about our Academic Reinforcement Program or make a long-lasting impact on the children and community we serve – one child and one word at a time – please contact David Blair, Director of Philanthropy Corporate at (714) 543-5540, ext. 307.