SHARP Literacy expands programs, presence in Milwaukee

SHARP Literacy, Inc., a youth-centered nonprofit that promotes reading, writing and research skills through hands-on engagement and visual arts, has announced plans to serve more Milwaukee students with more educational programs during the 2014-15 school year.


With its extended footprint, the organization will impact approximately 8,000 elementary students in 36 of the city’s struggling schools.

The organization will add six area public, charter and choice elementary schools to the selection of schools it touches. Those schools are Academia de Lenguaje Y Bellas Artes, Messmer Preparatory Catholic School, St. Rose and St. Leo Catholic School, Rocketship Southside Community Prep, Townsend Street School, and HOPE Christian Semper.

SHARP Literacy will also launch a K5 seven area schools: Academia de Lenguaje Y Bellas Artes, Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee, Catholic East Elementary School, Anna F. Doerfler Community School, St. Rose and St. Leo Catholic School, Messmer Preparatory Catholic School, and Rocketship Southside Community Prep.

Additionally the organization will introduce an online assessment program for youth at the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee, Anna F. Doerfler Community School, and Milwaukee Environmental Sciences Charter School.

The program expansions have largely resulted from continued support of corporations, foundations and individual donors, according to Lynda Kohler, president and CEO of SHARP Literacy.

Many of the organization’s advocates attended its 2014 “A Novel Event” luncheon and fundraiser event on Sept. 22. The fundraiser, which featured actor and producer LeVar Burton as its keynote speaker, generated more than $200,000.

 “We are grateful they, too, believe every child should be given the opportunity for a great education, no matter what the child’s situation,” Kohler said about the nonprofit’s supporters.

SHARP Literacy also plans to collaborate with a variety of new partners for its “Outside The Classroom” learning opportunities, including the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend, Discovery World, the Jewish Museum Milwaukee and Lynden Sculpture Garden.

Other new organizational partners include Silver Spring Neighborhood Center and Boys and Girls Clubs, which both deliver summer educational programs.

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