Combating summer brain drain

Nov 14, 2014

Spread the Word Nevada (STWN), a youth literacy organization, set out to combat summer brain drain in the Las Vegas area. Inspired by the knowledge that low-income students lose at least two months of reading over the summer, while their peers make gains, STWN developed a program to encourage youth to keep reading and provide them the books to do so. The result was Books on Break, a summer reading program that took off with support from Bank of America.

Bank of America recognized STWN as a Neighborhood Builder earlier in the year for its outstanding leadership and community impact. The organization was among nonprofits across the country that received $200,000 in unrestricted funding, along with valuable leadership training. The grant enabled STWN to launch Books on Break, which the bank also supported through a series of employee-led book drives.

"This generous grant will allow us to continue the expansion of literacy services and books to our low-income children during both the school year and the summer months," said Lisa Habighorst, STWN Executive Director. “We are grateful to Bank of America for their continued support over the past seven years.”

The reading program was launched to inspire and encourage youth to read during the summer months. More than 25 sites, including community centers and public gathering places among others, participated in the Books on Break program with over 5,100 books being distributed over the three month period. Books on Break is one of the many ways this Neighborhood Builder is addressing youth literacy in Las Vegas.

“We are excited to help Spread the Word Nevada reach new children in our community and ultimately equip the next generation with the skills needed to flourish,” said Nevada market president George W. Smith.


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This generous grant will allow us to continue the expansion of literacy services and books to our low-income children during both the school year and the summer months.

Lisa Habighorst
Spread the Word Nevada