Letter from Lynda Kohler and Tom Mroczkowski

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Letter from Lynda Kohler and Tom Mroczkowski

Greetings SHARP supporters, 

The 2017-18 school year is nearly finished, and students will soon be on summer vacation. But at SHARP Literacy, we continue to make those students’ futures a high priority.   

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, students are four times more likely to drop out of school if they are unable to read proficiently by the end of third grade. More alarming, 83% of 3rd graders in the city of Milwaukee read below a third-grade proficiency level. Consequently, the thrust of our spring appeal is to raise funds to help these urban students have a better chance in life.  

Our Create Art with Code (CAC) workshop provides 4th grade students at SHARP partnership schools the opportunity to create art using basic computer code unlocking student creativity and building confidence. Using art, dance and movement students learn about patterns, loops and algorithms and also gain computer literacy, a skill for the 21st century.  

Because the earlier students can be involved in learning activities, the more positive the outcomes are, SHARP is piloting a K3 program in 4 to 5 schools in 2018-19. The goal is to support K3 learners’ development in early literacy skills, science inquiry and creation of critical thinking through art. It will feature 4 hour-long arts-integrated play-based physical science (physics) workshops to be facilitated by SHARP guides. Classroom teachers will facilitate eight additional preview and extension lessons. 

Continuing a run of successful We Love to Learn books, the 15th book in the series, Discovering Waukesha, is already past the early planning stages. Young authors’ workshops have already begun to create illustrations for the book.  

For the fourth consecutive summer, SHARP will partner with community organizations in Milwaukee and Waukesha County. The goal has always been to prevent students’ summer slide. For the first time, MPS and Waukesha School District schools will also participate in SHARP summer programs. 

SHARP continues to expand in Waukesha, adding 2 more schools for a total of 5. As a continuing presence in the Waukesha, SHARP Literacy has partnered with Carroll University and the School District of Waukesha to create a “Discovering Waukesha” mural at Carroll University Campus Center. SHARP also partnered with Carroll University’s Prairie Springs Environmental Education Center to create three mosaic “Bee” murals.  

Programs like these, and more, are possible because of the support we receive from generous, thoughtful people like you. Thank you! We look forward to sharing more great news with you in our next newsletter. 

Happy to be serving you, 

Lynda Kohler, President & CEO

Tom Mroczkowski, Chairman of the Board