Read to Succeed Awards $273,000 In College Scholarships

Winners are 273 South Providence students at Bishop McVinney Elementary School, Highlander Charter School and Community Preparatory School.

Rhode Island General Treasurer, Seth Magaziner, and Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Chief of Teaching and Learning, Carol Blanchette, joined Read to Succeed scholars as they receive their $1,000 college scholarships for completing Read to Succeed's Summer Reading Program. Ceremonies for the students of Bishop McVinney Catholic Elementary School, Highlander Charter School and Community Preparatory School were held on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon this week. They were celebrated by parents, grandparents, donors, and educators to acknowledge their success with summer reading. Two hundred seventy-three students, from 4th to 8th grade, successfully completed the Read to Succeed innovative literacy program and each earned a $1,000 college scholarship in their own 529 College Bound Saver account. The Rhode Island nonprofit awarded $217,000 in 2016 to 217 students.

"A teacher shared with us a story the other day that a student cried tears of joy when he was notified he received the $1,000 college scholarship – this is why Ralph and I love to help these students", said Barbara Papitto, President of Read to Succeed, "...they are truly grateful and appreciative for this opportunity to increase their reading skills and make the investment towards college. We could not be happier to support them." Read to Succeed was founded in 2008 by businessman and philanthropist Ralph Papitto and his wife, Barbara.

"We are thrilled for another record breaking year but our success is due to a total team effort. We had a completion rate of 82% and that's because parents understand the importance of the program, teachers positively encourage the scholars during the year and the student's excitement carries throughout the school. Everyone understands the program and its importance. We are so proud of everyone's outstanding efforts," stated David Guertin, Executive Director of Read to Succeed.

Each of the 273 students read six books over the summer from a list provided by their teachers, and purchased by Read to Succeed. After passing a comprehension exam for each book, these students became eligible for a $1,000 scholarship in their own Rhode Island CollegeBound Saver account, the state's 529B college saving plan. At the ceremony, the students will be awarded with a framed certificate of completion, a citation from the General Treasurer's office and a Read to Succeed medallion.

Each of the 273 students read six books over the summer from a list provided by their teachers, and purchased by Read to Succeed. After passing a comprehension exam for each book, these students became eligible for a $1,000 scholarship in their own Rhode Island CollegeBound Saver account, the state's 529B college saving plan. At the ceremony, the students will be awarded with a framed certificate of completion, a citation from the General Treasurer's office and a Read to Succeed medallion.

Free of charge to students, parents and our committed partners at Community Preparatory School, Bishop McVinney Elementary School and Highlander Charter School, Read to Succeed is a unique literacy program which inspires students and their parents to establish reading as a college goal, while reducing the summer learning loss and creating the life-long enjoyment of recreational reading. There is no similar program in Rhode Island. Read to Succeed has already awarded $869,000 in scholarships and distributed over 7,600 free books since the program began in 2008. Now, Read to Succeed is preparing for its 2018 summer program for more than 400 students and seeks to raise $400,000 for books and scholarships.

 
Kyle Reichman