Literacy program transforming Albany kids one word at a time

April 18, 2017 06:44 PM

ALBANY - It doesn’t command a lot of attention, but a literacy program in Albany’s South End is changing the lives of kids. More kids now have library cards now, there are more books in their homes and they’re better readers.

Joyvonna Providence says her son, Majesty, is already thinking about his future. He’s got his eyes set on being a lawyer or in the FBI.

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Just in the first grade, he's already working on laying the groundwork for either profession he chooses by feeding his love for books.

That love of reading was developed in the "Two Together" program. Before the program, Providence says toys were his thing. Now, books are his best friend.

"The books make him extremely excited," noted Providence.

Two Together is a free afterschool reading program in Albany’s South End and the goal is simple -- help kids become better readers.

"A lot of children here were not reading at grade level, were not achieving in literacy. It is very hard to achieve in school or anything else if you don’t know the fundamentals. So that’s what our program is based upon -- literacy, reading one on one with tutors," explained Jema Clements, the executive director.

With this branch and another at Howe Library, Two Together reaches 75 to 80 kids during the school year. They could help more if they had the money.

"If we had the funding, of course we could," pointed out Clements. "As well as upgrading our software for our computer bank."

On May 2, Two Together celebrates 20 years with a "Cooks for Kids" fundraiser. Local chefs will prepare recipes to benefit the program. It takes place at the New York State Museum.

More information:
Two Together program


WNYT Staff

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