Forty-five elementary-aged children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County were recently awarded e-readers from the Tech Readers Enrich Kids (TREK) Foundation after successfully completing their 12-week reading program.
Jonna Keller, an accomplished Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) and owner of First Security Investments in Sarasota, introduced the TREK Program to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County after she volunteered at the Clubs and read with children who struggled with developing their literacy skills. Through her volunteerism, she noticed a great need for a program that educates and trains children on the tools necessary to succeed in a society with a technological environment that is constantly evolving. Today, Ms. Keller serves as Chair-Elect of the agency’s Board of Directors.
“TREK is an effective reading program because youth meet with a teacher each week for high-yield learning activities using technology from educational enrichment games in a group setting to more individualized reading instruction,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County.
The program took place at all five Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County locations from Newtown to North Port, and provided children with literacy education through the use of technology. The TREK Foundation recognizes that children must learn critical skills on 21st century devices to succeed academically as the use of technology for educational purposes continues to grow in the classroom. By the end of the program, the participating youth either maintained or improved their grades in Reading and Language Arts, increased their vocabulary or improved their ability to successfully complete their homework assignments.
Unfortunately, children who reside in low-income households typically have more difficulty gaining access to high-quality reading programs, as well as, educational electronics such as e-readers.
“The majority of the children we serve typically don’t have access to this kind of technology,” said Sadlo. “Because of the TREK Program, these children received an educational opportunity that they otherwise would not have the chance to experience. The e-readers they received at the end of the program will help them succeed in school and achieve their full potential.”