Starbucks Coffee has helped college students through all-night study sessions for years. Now the company is helping elementary school kids with their reading.
The Starbucks Foundation contributed $10,000 last week to the Associated Students Community Affairs Board for CABCorps, a community literacy program that will be a part of the national AmeriCorps network. In order to receive federal AmeriCorps funding, CABCorps must raise at least one-third of its proposed budget of $300,000. The program will seek additional corporate and private donations to reach the necessary $100,000.
The grant will fund existing programs that fall under the CABCorps umbrella. Two of these are the America Reads program, which sends UCSB students to local elementary schools, and the Family Literacy Program, which sends volunteers to homes to help children and families learn to read together.
America Reads workers are paid through the financial aid work-study program. Workers spend between eight and 12 hours per week reading with students at Isla Vista, Franklin and Cleveland Elementary Schools.
Isla Vista Elementary School Principal Lisa Maglione said the program helps her students in both the short and long term.
“Any time kids can have more adult educational support, it’s a good thing,” she said. “It’s a nice link between the community and the university. The students see these lifelong learners and know that they can follow that pattern.”
Kathy Pyle, a third-year business economics major and co-writer of the application, said that local literacy programs receive much less funding than they need.
“Research shows that schools here need just as much help as schools in Los Angeles, but the smaller cities get ignored,” she said.
America Reads workers can receive an education award of over $4,000 if they complete either a 300-hour or 450-hour yearly program. They can also receive deferment of student loan payments and health insurance. Family Literacy Program workers are volunteers and receive no pay.
CABCorps sent a letter requesting funding to Starbucks in October of last year and was invited to formally apply in November, according to James To, associate director of community affairs for A.S. To said the application focused on the program’s involvement with the community and that both the I.V. and Goleta Starbucks sponsored the application.
Pyle said that Starbucks’ involvement gives the CABCorps program credibility.
“We’re hoping that other people see Starbucks standing behind us and believing in us,” she said. “This shows that we are a legit program.”