YouthNet & Reading Clinic Fundraising Event

November 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

YouthNet and The Reading Clinic have joined forces again this year for the Ultimate Black Friday Draw fundraising event.

Their current partnership with Prestige Autos Ltd., is for a single prize worth $80,000 and the lucky winner will be drawn this Friday, November 29th at 6:00 p.m. in the Washington Mall.

Proceeds from the draw will be split between the two charities, which are committed to improving literacy and educational support for Bermuda’s schoolchildren.

There is a literal double meaning to the campaign’s slogan, “Win Big. Do Good Together”. Ticket buyers can support two good causes for the price of one, and with limited tickets priced at $100, both charities can fundraise more effectively rather than compete.

Clare Mello, Executive Director of YouthNet, said: “Over the past five years the fundraising landscape has changed significantly due to numerous factors.”

Clare Mello [Executive Director, YouthNet] and Glenn Faries [Executive Director, The Reading Clinic]

Clare Mello and Glenn Faries Bermuda Nov 2019

Glenn Faries, Executive Director of The Reading Clinic, said: “The fact is, these are times where it is getting harder to fund raise. While we are fortunate to be supported by a very philanthropic and generous corporate community, consolidation in the corporate sector means that donor pool is contracting. Individuals also have less money in their pockets so charities have to be a little more creative.

“This is an example of where, by working together, we can we can show not only how our fundraising activities benefit each other, but also how our programmes complement each other – both focusing on and promoting literacy but through different lenses.”

The Reading Clinic’s Core Reading Programme offers specialised and individualised tutoring to children diagnosed with dyslexia while its I-PLAY programme [Interactive Phonological Literacy Activities for Youngsters] – currently in 7 of 10 Government pre-schools – focuses on pre-schoolers’ phonological skills such as rhyming and recognising the sounds in words.

These skills are key predictors of later reading success and specific phonological processing weaknesses can signal possible future reading difficulties such as dyslexia. It is anticipated that the programme may be in all Government preschools by the 2020-21 school year.

The Reading Clinic also offers the ICAN [Individualised Cognitive Approach to Numeracy] Math Programme, designed for P4-P6 students with specific math-related learning differences.

YouthNet’s programmes include Reading Mentoring in which teams of mentors read with children aged 5-10 in Government primary schools, helping many of the students who have already been identified with reading difficulties through I-PLAY.

Clare Mello said: “Our mentors – many of whom are seniors or retirees – read to the students and the students read to them. They work with the teacher in the classroom on whatever their focus is that day – spelling, vocabulary, and so on. They positively impact students’ attitudes towards reading, making it fun. Building meaningful relationships through reading in turn makes the students want to read themselves.”

In addition to its Traditional Mentoring programme, which matches adult volunteers to student mentees ages 8-17, YouthNet also runs a Peer Mentoring Programme for primary and middle school students where their senior school peers help them navigate through middle and senior school, where they face increased academic demands and social pressures.

Twenty extra bonus tickets are an added attraction of the Ultimate Black Friday Draw. Purchased by benefactors, existing ticket holders can double their chances of winning. Five bonus tickets have already been won. A further five will be drawn live on radio station Vibe 103 on Wednesday between 8:30 and 9:00 am, and the remaining 10 will be drawn on Friday throughout the course of the day.

But, said Clare Mello, the promotion is not just about the money. “While corporate donors are obviously extremely important, raffle fundraisers like our Ultimate Black Friday Draw are opportunities for us to interact with individual supporters. We have had wonderful conversations with people who buy a ticket because of how they or a family member has been impacted by our work. As local charities, we thrive by being connected with the community and we would like thank both individuals and companies for their support.”

To purchase tickets, call YouthNet 297-5400, The Reading Clinic 292-3938, Prestige Autos Ltd. 296-3535, or visit Washington Mall every day this week through Thursday from 11.30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and all day Friday until 5:00 p.m.

For more details about the two charities, please visit readingclinic.bm and youthnetbda.com

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