YWCA receives grant for “reading to end racism” program

The non-profit received grant money from United Way’s United for Equity fund.
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 23, 2021 at 12:55 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - The YWCA of the Quad Cities is starting a “reading to end racism” program and it’s getting a helping hand from the United Way of the Quad Cities.

The program, called Revolutionary Readers, is in partnership with the Cultural Competency team in the Rock Island - Milan School District.

“It’s actually designed for kindergarten through grade 4. However, we’re working with the multicultural group at Rock Island High School and we’re going to actually do a program within the grade schools, the middle schools, and the high schools. So we’re really excited about that,” says Julie Larson, President, and CEO of the YWCA of the Quad Cities.

In February 2021, The United Way announced 25 local organizations would be awarded $275,000 in grants as part of the United for Equity fund to “help reduce and prevent racial inequities in education, income, and health.”

The YWCA received $15,000.

“So we could not do it without United Way funds. We’re so thankful that we have that wonderful agency in our community who has helped keep our doors open for many many years and without those funds, right now things are really difficult,” says Larson. “Obviously with COVID it’s impacted businesses, so we’re just so thankful to the support that we received from United Way.

The program is set to begin May 1, 2021. It will run through the summer. “The program introduces the children to books and we have facilitators who provide discussion about the books and the facilitators will look like the children in the classroom and the books will be culturally sensitive so that children are all engaged in a discussion and can learn more about our differences and how we can all work together and hopefully improve relations in our community.”

Larson says the YWCA needs volunteers to help facilitate the program. If you are interested, you can click here.

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