In 2005, the Scott Spino Foundation established the Scott Spino Literacy Program. The program was launched at Lincoln School 22, in September 2005 where our son, Scott, was a teacher, passionate about making a difference in the lives of the children. Scott was killed by a drunk driver on October 31, 2004, and in honor and in memory of his short but extraordinary life, the Foundation was established. The mission of the Literacy Program is to increase students’ access to literature. With this access, the Foundation has seen an enhancement in the students reading skills, an improvement in their word recognition, and the beginning or expansion of their home library. The program has been designed to open the students’ imagination to the world of reading, instilling a love of the written word. This mission is accomplished by pairing students with adults who care enough to share their fluent literacy skills, and who embrace the idea of “today a reader tomorrow a leader.”
The program consists of more than 200 volunteers. Our volunteers read one on one to students in the first grade at School 22. The volunteers attend the program one day each month. Each month, the volunteers are asked to purchase one or two books to read with their student. At the end of the monthly visit, the student gets to keep the book(s), to enjoy again or to share with a friend or family member. The Foundation also sponsors a monthly Guest Reader Program for the Kindergarten students throughout our community. The Guest Reader(s) reads to one entire class of students. Each student, within the class, receives a copy of the book being read by the Guest Reader(s). The student gets to keep their book so that they can experience the joy of reading over and over again. We currently have the guest reader program in 22 schools throughout our community. Each month it becomes more and more difficult to determine who has the biggest smiles or is more excited the volunteers or the students.
Jackie Waldman, author of “The Courage to Give” recommends starting simple and small – you don’t have to begin an organization, just try volunteering once a month.
“If you can just put your own stuff aside for a moment – that’s the courage.” Each month, 200 volunteers put their “own stuff aside for a moment” to make a difference in the life of a child. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact Geri Spino at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Scott Spino Foundation...
Just a quick note to tell you how overwhelmed with emotion I was yesterday standing at the end of the hall and seeing all of the volunteers and children sitting against the lockers, on both sides, heads together, reading the wonderful books that Scott has posthumously provided, through his amazing foundation, founded by his devoted parents. A true gift of the heart. A true and honorable legacy befitting a fine and beloved young man, and teacher. Your son. Scott Spino.
Thank you for the opportunity to share in it.
Peace and Blessings,
A special Thank You