Rockville Library Program: READy for the Grade

September 30, 2014

Rockville, CT – State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Vernon) joined members of the Rockville Library and the NewAlliance Foundation in celebrating the second year of the Summer Reading Initiative “READy for the Grade.”

“It is amazing what opening the pages of a book can do for a young child,” said Sen. Guglielmo. “The adventures these children go on – in their minds – when they get immersed in a book are truly special.”

Sen. Guglielmo joins Rockville librarian and NewAlliance Foundation members on a tour of the library where the READy for the Grade program takes place.

The NewAlliance Foundation’s Public Library Summer Reading Initiative is an ongoing program for the Rockville Library. The $105,000 grant program spans over three years and is inspired by the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading. It is designed to address a part of literacy in children from age 5 to 8. The goal is to partner with public libraries and encourage students to read through the summer – enticing families with innovative programs.

“We hope their summer experience will help them maintain grade-level reading skills during the school years from kindergarten through grade 3,” said Kim Healey, Executive Director NewAlliance Foundation.

Numerous studies have suggested Connecticut has the largest educational achievement gap in the country. This gap is the difference in educational performance between Connecticut’s low-income and non-low-income students, and it disproportionately affects minority students, primarily African-American and Latino children.

The grant money totaling $35,000 per year over three years (2013 – 2016) for a total of $105,000 goes toward an intensive summer-long program working with children identified by the Maple Street School.

Activities during the first summer of the program included visits from professionals acting as Reading Role Models, such as firefighters and veterinarians, who emphasized the importance of reading in their lives. Friends of the Rockville Public Library also volunteered in the program reading to the students one on one. Specially trained reading dogs were also brought in to help young readers gain confidence in reading aloud.

In addition to the Rockville Library grants from the foundation were also awarded to Killingly Public Library, New Haven Free Public Library, and Wallingford Public Library.

“NewAlliance Foundation firmly believes that the public libraries selected to participate in this funding opportunity will be innovators for change and positively affect grade-level reading proficiency in low-income children in their towns,” added Healey.

The READy for the Grade program aims to not only improve literacy, but high-school graduation rates, and ultimately help students gain skills to go onto college and achieve their first post graduate job.

If you would like more information on the grant program call (203) 859-6555 or write to:

READy for the Grade
NewAlliance Foundation
195 Church Street, 7th Floor
New Haven, CT 06510

You can also visit their website at