Urban League visits homes, promoting early literacy

Lisa Jones, Coordinator of the Read and Rise program for the Fort Wayne Urban League, reads to children.
Lisa Jones, Coordinator of the Read and Rise program for the Fort Wayne Urban League, reads to children.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A group of women is making a difference in our kids’ education, one book at time. The Fort Wayne Urban League’s Read and Rise program promotes early literacy. These ladies are making house calls.

By getting inside the home, the women are also able to work with parents on childhood development, family structure and even, job placement.

“A lot of our clients are vulnerable, the clients are residents who are most at risk to things that will lead to a poor quality of life, so it’s important for us to get out into the community and so the families know that we are there for them,” said Antoinette Francher-Donald, Director of Planning and Program Research for the Fort Wayne Urban League.

“We have so many children that are not in any type of preschool program, so for me to be able to go out and prepare them to get then ready for kindergarten is the best thing to do,” said Lisa Jones, Coordinator of the Read and Rise Program for the Fort Wayne Urban League.

Jones visits about 50 homes per month, plus group visits. Some are planned and some cold calls.

Angel Fink says programs that cater to her three-year-old, who isn’t in school yet, are sparse.

Jones will visit the home ten times, give the family ten books and at the end, give them a stuffed animal from build a bear.

“She’s awesome, she’s awesome with the kids, they love her, she’s really outgoing, always happy,” said Fink.

“Once we get a connection with the family, I’m there to stay and it’s a blessing to be able to do that in this community,” said Jones.

Families with an income of $25,000 or less qualify for the program. To sign-up, call (260) 745-3100, ext. 41.


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