To kick off our monthlong celebration of Literacy Month, we're shining a spotlight on a 2022 Literacy Grant recipient—Allison Skiple and the York Literacy Project.
The York Literacy Project is a collaborative project between Elmhurst University’s Service Learning Program and The York Community Resource Center in Villa Park, Illinois. The YCRC of Outreach Community Ministries is a multi-purpose neighborhood community center that serves the residents of Villa Park offering after-school programs for elementary-aged students. Eighty-five percent of the after school students are bilingual and 93% are at or below 185% federal poverty level. The YCRC offers a space where students can go to after-school and where receive additional academic and social support.
During the 2022-2023 academic school year, 19 students from Elmhurst University dedicated their time to volunteer for the York Literacy Project. These Elmhurst University volunteers not only contributed to the YCRC but also enhanced their own academic and professional growth, specifically as students majoring in Spanish and Communication Sciences and Disorders.
“I am so grateful to have received this grant. It has been so rewarding to watch the children I serve blossom and grow as readers and writers,” Skiple said. “My mission is to inspire and develop the leaders of tomorrow by helping them build their confidence and understand all they can offer to the world; this grant allowed me to do so.”
Funds from the Literacy Grant provided the YCRC students with fresh reading materials, essential supplies, and assistance, promoting literacy development throughout the school year and even during the summer break. Additionally, when the York Literacy Project was not in operation, this grant played a pivotal role in nurturing the skills and leadership potential of future generations of readers.
Applications for the 2024 Literacy Grants open on Dec. 15, 2023. To learn more about the Literacy Grants program or to sign up for a reminder when applications open, click here.