FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORFOLK, VA. – In celebration of its first-ever Virginia-based partnership alongside Norfolk Academy and Norfolk Public Schools, national childhood literacy nonprofit Preface donated a “Legacy Gift” of over 150 brand-new children’s books and thousands of dollars in healthcare resources from Earth Baby to Tidewater Park Elementary School in a special Legacy Gift Event.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Preface has helped Norfolk Academy and Tidewater Park Elementary build upon their long-standing community partnership, strengthening reading and writing skills in these young students, by facilitating cutting-edge small group virtual reading sessions between Norfolk Academy high school “Ambassadors” and young Tidewater Park Elementary students.
In a ceremony held earlier this month, members of the Preface Leadership team gathered alongside leaders from Tidewater Park Elementary School and Norfolk Academy, as well as some of the young students who have been participating in Preface's virtual reading sessions, to commemorate the successful partnership.
“Norfolk Academy's long-standing partnership with Tidewater Park Elementary hit a wall with the COVID-19 pandemic, but Preface was the answer to our problem! They helped us transition to online operations, train our students to be Literacy Ambassadors, provide great online library resources, and help sort out the complex schedules of two different schools,” said Dr. David Kidd, Norfolk Academy English Teacher. “Now Norfolk Academy and Tidewater Park Elementary will hold this mutually beneficial relationship throughout next fall and beyond.”
“All of us at Preface are so grateful for the opportunity to come alongside Norfolk Academy, Tidewater Park Elementary, Norfolk Public Schools, and the entire community here in Norfolk to help supercharge early childhood literacy during these challenging times.” said Jonathan “JT” Wu, Founder and Executive Director of Preface. “The work Dr. David Kidd, Director Sean Wetmore, and the entire Literacy Fellows team over at Norfolk Academy have done to empower the next generation of educators in Virginia is nothing short of incredible - and we're so honored to have been able to help strengthen their existing reading partnerships through our safe and secure virtual models."
"Our students love their Wednesday sessions with their Norfolk Academy Ambassadors,” said Stephanie Trzeciakiewicz, Library Media Specialist & Preface Liaison at Tidewater Park Elementary. “Having that individual, one-on-one attention from the Ambassadors makes them feel special and helps increase their reading skills while fostering their social-emotional learning. They are often logged on and in the waiting room before I even start the session!”
All across America, Preface has trained and provided educational resources to high school ambassadors that have equipped them to help mitigate learning loss for elementary school students in their own communities. Working alongside teachers during the school day, Preface's no-cost, high-impact, and award-winning Ambassador models have helped children go from functionally illiterate to reading at or above grade level in as few as ten weeks.
With the support of Preface sponsors and donors, including UBS, the Copler Family, and the Pritchard Foundation, the Preface team donated a Library Legacy Gift of over 150 books to Tidewater Elementary. Together with the Tidewater Park Elementary team, Preface specially chose books that highlighted the diversity of backgrounds and experiences within the Norfolk and Tidewater Park Elementary communities.
"Thanks to the support of visionary leaders at Norfolk Academy and Tidewater Park Elementary, as well as our generous donors all across America, we've shown how communities can continue to come together for the next generation, especially during these challenging times," added Wu. "All of us at Preface are so excited to be presenting this Legacy Gift to our friends here in Norfolk to help fuel learning and discovery for generations to come."
Thanks to its newest partnership with passionate educators in Virginia, Preface looks well-positioned to continue fighting for equality through education and early childhood literacy in communities across America.
A link to additional written coverage by Norfolk Academy is available here.
Founded in 2019, Preface is a public-private philanthropic initiative dedicated to fostering Equality Through Education and early childhood literacy - often with a multilingual twist! Partnering with educators and community leaders, Preface empowers local high schoolers to give back to their communities and bridge opportunity gaps by fostering literacy among young students of all backgrounds. A federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization, Preface is proudly headquartered in Gwinnett County, Georgia and serves communities across America. Learn more at www.PrefaceProject.org.
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