PEABODY, MA — ( North Shore Bank recently donated $2,500 to the City of Beverly’s Summer Literacy Program. As part of the City’s Building a Better Beverly campaign, the Summer Literacy Program is designed to provide summer learning opportunities and enrichment experiences to 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders at risk of falling behind during the summer months. The overarching goal of the Summer Literacy Program is to significantly increase the percentage of public school students reading at or above grade level.

The purpose of the Building a Better Beverly non-profit is to develop programs that improve the educational opportunities available to the youth of the City.  The organization currently operates the Summer Literacy Program in partnership with the Greater Beverly YMCA and the City's Public Schools.

Mayor Michael Cahill, said of the program:

The Summer Literacy Program helps younger kids make tremendous progress with their literacy skills each morning and provides summer camp activities at the YMCA every afternoon," He added, "I’m grateful to North Shore Bank and our other generous donors who support this critical reading program each year. 

The 2021 benchmark data collected, utilizing the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), shows the Summer Literacy Program is making a significant difference with below grade level struggling readers.  

North Shore Bank Chief Executive Office, Kevin M. Tierney, Sr. stated”

Unfortunately, the pandemic has created gaps in the reading levels of our youngest students. We commend Mayor Cahill and the City of Beverly for offering support to these elementary school students who are struggling.” He continued, “As a community, it is up to us to come together and ensure access to programs like this so that all our students can receive the education they deserve.

The tremendous gains made by students attending the program help with the transition to start the school year and make learning much more enjoyable, easier and reduces their stress. Additionally, the confidence and self-esteem boost contribute to academic success that provides a solid foundation for continued success in learning in middle and high school as well as college.

About The City of Beverly’s Summer Literacy Program 
The Summer Literacy Program increased capacity in 2018 from 120 students to 180 students served due to high demand and need for the program. Children are bused in the morning to the Hannah Elementary School where they receive literacy instruction including spelling, grammar, vocabulary, self-selected reading, and small group guided reading. Afternoon programming at the YMCA includes enrichment activities such as arts and crafts, music, team-building activities, gymnastics, swimming and outdoor activities. The principals of each elementary school work with teachers, counselors, and reading specialists to identify students in need of the program. Those students are then invited to participate at no cost to their families.