CSICF Annual Appeal Letter 2015
Here’s why the Aiming Higher program deserves your support.
Aiming Higher is promoting economic recovery in Cleveland.
Greater Cleveland is on the cusp of economic recovery. Once known as a “rust-belt,” our city is starting to experience a post-recession renaissance. Led by economic development groups like Greater Cleveland Partnership, broad-based developments are revitalizing our downtown and neighborhoods, attracting and expanding businesses, and advancing community initiatives.
It’s up to US to help our youth keep this positive momentum going. Our children are the future of Greater Cleveland, and they need our help. Traditionally, workforce and educational professionals have sought to close the gap in educational opportunities during the teen and adult years, but studies show that challenges and opportunities start much earlier. How can we expect our youth to make it to high school if they can’t even read?
We can help by making sure they get the education they need to be successful. Effective workforce development starts in our children’s earliest years. Aiming Higher improves the educational opportunities for our underserved youth so they can be successful in the workforce and continue our city’s positive growth. Your charitable gift can do so much to help us expand and reach more students in academic emergency. You can change the life of a child by giving as much as you can.
Aiming Higher is preparing students academically and instilling leadership in our city’s youth.
D’Andrea was quiet and didn’t care for school. She was in third grade, but only read at a first-grade level. Her teacher recommended her for Aiming Higher when she saw her losing confidence. Although D’Andrea began attending the after-school program, she didn’t really participate until her tutor, Nathan, discovered her interests and guided her to choose books he knew she would enjoy. That simple gesture unlocked her desire to learn.
Within two weeks, D’Andrea was actively participating. Her vocabulary grew quickly until she was reading paragraphs and chapter books. She began keeping a journal and even took a leading role in sharing her journey with her classmates. Her mother was delighted when she began reading to her younger siblings at home.
Aiming Higher focuses on the Whole Child. The key to this program’s success is the integration of three important life skills: literacy, personal development, and health and fitness. In just 24 weeks, D’Andrea and her classmates began to excel at reading and developed positive relationships with each other. Aiming Higher scholars interacted with community role models and resources that expanded their horizons in the community. They learned how to make good nutritional choices by participating in the Cleveland Clinic’s “Healthy Futures” curriculum. They learned that fitness can be fun with “Healthy Kids Rock,” an energetic dance program. Perhaps the best lesson they learned is that they are important, and they can be successful.
D’Andrea passed the state mandated test and was ready to start fourth grade. If children don’t have core reading skills when they enter fourth grade, they cannot be successful in school. Fourth grade is a critical year because it’s when kids advance from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” D’Andrea will tell you that she loved participating in the Aiming Higher program. She is now a very energetic, outgoing girl, and has the foundation and confidence she needs to be successful.
Aiming Higher is laying a foundation for success.
Millions of American children are on the fast track to high school dropout because they cannot read proficiently. With the implementation of Ohio’s Third Grade Guarantee Act, 324 CMSD third-graders were held back last year out of a total of 2,603 third graders in the Cleveland schools. Research shows that third-grade reading proficiency is crucial for continued academic success and to break the cycle of poverty that may extend from one generation to the next.
100% of third graders participating in Aiming Higher advanced to fourth grade. D’Andrea bonded with her classmates, and together they became a motivated, high-achieving group. In the last five years, over 216 students have become more successful in school because Aiming Higher made a difference in their lives.
Our vision is that all Cleveland children can succeed. Imagine Cleveland as a vibrant city surrounded by stable neighborhoods and effective schools. It’s possible, and you can help us expand our mission to reach more academically challenged children. Your generous gift can help prepare our youth in the crucial learning years to ensure they read effectively, stay in school, graduate, and are ultimately ready to meet the workforce needs of the future.
Former Cleveland Browns Coach Sam Rutigliano and the Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation board and staff know that victories don’t happen just on the football field… victories happen everyday in our Aiming Higher classrooms. We need your support to keep our keep this vision alive.
Create an Immediate and Lasting Impact
Mail Your Tax Deductible Contribution to:
Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation
Fifth Third Building
600 Superior Avenue East
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
$25 Provides One Week of Literacy Tutoring for 1 child
$50 Supports One Week of Literacy Tutoring for 2 children
$100 Provides One Week of Literacy Tutoring for 4 children
$300 Provides One Week of Literacy Tutoring for 12 children
$600 Provides One Half Year of Literacy Tutoring for 1 child
$1200 Provides One Whole Year of Aiming Higher Sessions for One Child