Boys & Girls Club Blog

Readers Cafe and Literacy Programming Update

This past summer, the Boys & Girls Club took a deep dive into literacy thanks to the help of the Winnebago County Literacy Council and the Oshkosh Public Library! Club members in grades 1 through 6 got to do some cool stuff that helped to make them build positive relationships with the written word. Highlights included:

  • Every student in the Radford Center (7-12 year olds) participated in the Oshkosh Public Library’s summer reading program, for which they each had to read 20 minutes every day they attended the Club. The amazing result was that approximately 250 kids did, in fact, read that much! For their efforts, they each
    • Received the special incentive bracelet from the library.
    • Are eligible for a free library card
    • Have earned the right to waive their previous library fines
    • Were able to take a walking field trip to the library, where library staff read to them and gave them a tour.

We are grateful to Marie Boleman, Director of Children’s and Family Outreach Services for the Oshkosh Public Library for the many ways she helped us make all this reading happen over the summer!

  • The same Clubsters also participated in our Readers Cafe’ program, which led to our Readers Theater performance on August 21.
    • Nearly 250 members from the Radford Center converged upon the Webster Stanley Middle School auditorium.
    • They read scripted poetry, fables and folktales in groups they had been practicing throughout the summer.

A huge shout-out to Julia Frascona, Education Coordinator for the Winnebago County Literacy Council for helping Club kids become comfortable with the written word!

Why is literacy such a big deal? Ms. Frascona has some answers! According to her, based on solid research, the benefits of reading 20 minutes or more per day has profound effects on the following:

  • Improves focus and attention
  • Improves memory
  • Exposes the reading to hundreds of thousands more words than those who do not read
  • Builds stronger analytic thinking skills
  • Improves writing skills
  • Expands vocabulary
  • Makes the reader more empathetic
  • Improves general knowledge
  • Reduces stress
  • Promotes positive mental health
  • Promotes a sense of well-being
  • Gains in reading achievement
  • Improves socioeconomic status

Clearly, it is a good thing that our Club kids make solid friends with the printed word! As parents, donors, teachers and general supporters of our Club, your continued support of our literacy programming is much appreciated and extremely beneficial! Thank you!

Post written by: Sara Eliasen, Director of Academic Success, Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh