Heidi Hamels WePACThe West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC) is proud to announce that it has been awarded The Hamels Foundation’s 2013 Partners in Education grant in the amount of $10,000. The Partners in Education grant will help WePAC provide school library access to more public elementary school students in the upcoming year, and will enable WePAC to continue to improve and enhance the library services it provides.

The Hamels Foundation was founded in 2008 by Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels and Heidi Hamels. The Foundation provides support for schools and education not only in Philadelphia, but also in Malawi, Africa. Since 2008, the Hamels Foundation has donated more than $2.3 million to schools, nonprofits, and scholarship students.

“It has been such a pleasure working with The Hamels Foundation over this past year,” David Florig, WePAC’s Executive Director, said. “Heidi did a wonderful job as the keynote speaker at our Relentless Drive for Literacy Celebration in April, and the Foundation provided us with posters autographed by Cole to brighten up the libraries. We are honored and humbled to have been chosen for this grant. Our Board, staff, and volunteers are thankful the Foundation recognizes and supports their work on behalf of our city’s children.”

WePAC is a nonprofit organization focused on developing youth literacy skills. WePAC helps set-up and run school libraries and has donated nearly 50,000 books to its partner schools. WePAC’s teams of library volunteers meet with classes, read stories together, and help students select and check out books. WePAC is funded entirely with private dollars, and all of its services are provided at no cost to schools or the School District. During the recent school year, WePAC volunteers ran 12 elementary school libraries throughout West Philadelphia. More than 5,000 students attended WePAC’s partner schools. WePAC volunteers donated more than 10,000 hours of direct service to students last year.

Research shows that a child’s chance of dropping out of school before graduation can be predicted based on the child’s reading level at the end of Third Grade. While the overall dropout rate in Philadelphia is above 40%, low-income and minority students are at the greatest risk of dropping out. Strong literacy supports, such as those provided by WePAC and supported by The Hamels Foundation, help students achieve greater academic success.

For more information, please contact David Florig at dave@wepac.org or 215-990.6084
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