J.F Maddox Foundation Donates $10K to Support Haverhill YMCA’s Summer Reading Program

YMCA Regional Executive Director Tracy Fuller (left) celebrated the Summer Readers' Camp donation alongside Pentucket Lake Principal Dianne Connolly, School Committeeman Richard J. Rosa and donor Dr. John Maddox. (WHAV News photograph)

YMCA Regional Executive Director Tracy Fuller (left) celebrated the Summer Readers' Camp donation alongside Pentucket Lake Principal Dianne Connolly, School Committeeman Richard J. Rosa and donor Dr. John Maddox. (WHAV News photograph)

Summer slide? Not in Haverhill! In the city’s latest effort to have all students reading at grade level by the end of third grade, the YMCA has doubled the amount of spaces available for their summer literacy program thanks to a $10,000 donation from the J.F Maddox Foundation. The donation matches another $10,000 contributed by Haverhill Public Schools.

Twenty to 30 students typically take part in the six-week enrichment session, which balances reading readiness with the Y’s traditional camp activities. With backing from Haverhill Public Schools’ physician Dr. John Maddox, 20 additional Haverhill students are able to participate, YMCA Regional Executive Director Tracy Fuller told WHAV.

“Our goal is that students typically gain three months of reading time instead of sliding back,” said Fuller. “They go back to school more ready to learn, more on task and ready to read with their peers.”

According to Fuller, elementary students in kindergarten through second grade identified by their teachers as in need may participate in the program at no cost, so long as they attend 80 percent of the sessions and have their parents attend status meetings. Lunch and transportation are provided in an effort to eliminate any barriers to participation.

Families of participating students must also agree to read together for at least 20 minutes every night.

Maddox told WHAV his foundation was inspired to give back at the urging of School Committee member Richard J. Rosa, who introduced him to the Summer Readers’ program earlier this year.

“This was a really good opportunity to leverage resources to expand opportunities and I couldn’t have done it without the School Committee and Mr. Rosa,” Maddox said.

Following the announcement of the grant, the YMCA kicked off their summer reading program with a visit from New England Patriots’ Malcolm Mitchell, who stopped by Monday night to greet students and read from his book “The Magician’s Hat.”

As the Haverhill school year draws to a close this week, paces are still available for the Summer Readers’ Camp program. For more information or to apply, call the Y at 978-374-0506.