March 1, 2016

A total of 1,104 of Hopewell Virginia’s elementary school children—grades kindergarten through second— received from CHP a free book to take home on March 2 as part of the National Education Association (NEA)’s Read Across America Day taking place in communities across the country that day.  Valued at over $4,000, the age appropriate book titles include “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Cat in the Hat,” and “Are You My Mother?”

“We celebrate all opportunities to put books in the hands of our students,” said Hopewell Public Schools language arts curriculum supervisor Jan Butterworth. “Children’s reading skills grow greatly during these first few years of elementary school, and to be able to send home books for them to keep is important to their developing a love for reading.  We appreciate the generous contribution from Community Housing Partners.”

A first-grader named Rebecca said she was very excited to receive a new book because, “Reading is learning and you need to get a good education to know what to do.”

Funding for the books is part of a $250,000 “Stable Communities Catalytic Grant” that CHP received from NeighborWorks America to serve the Hopewell community. Through the grant, CHP aims to combine housing preservation with comprehensive education and programming that will impact not only CHP’s rental communities in Hopewell, but also the larger Hopewell community.

To help accomplish this goal, CHP hired a program coordinator who has used a city-wide approach to establishing relationships with service providers, community stakeholders, and activists. To date, funding has been used for the development of a variety of services and programs for the residents at The Summit Apartments (formerly Langston Park Apartments) including a collaborative mural project, training to develop future resident leaders, an afterschool youth program and a teen involvement committee, a tenant council, and financial capability programming for adults. CHP has also performed a community needs assessment and worked to identify additional community partners.

“NeighborWorks’ Stable Communities Catalytic Grant has provided an excellent opportunity for CHP to explore services already existing in Hopewell and partner with several local organizations to further address the needs of the greater Hopewell community,” said CHP vice president of resident services Angie Roberts-Dobbins.

About NEA’s Read Across America
The National Education Association (NEA) is building a nation of readers through its signature program, NEA’s Read Across America. Now in its 19th year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.

About NeighborWorks America
For more than 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $24.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.