FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Investors Foundation Grant Helps Bring Joy of Reading
to At-Risk Students Through BookMates
Laura Bishop, Laura Bishop Communications
(November 21, 2019) – BookMates, a program offered by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey, has received a $5,000 grant from the Investors Foundation. The grant will be paid out over two years and be used to bring the joy of reading to children in low- to moderate-income communities.
BookMates applied for the grant from the Investors Foundation, which supports non-profit organizations that enrich the diverse communities served by Investors Bank.
Investors Bank’s Christopher P. Warren, senior vice president business lending, along with Barry Epps, assistant vice president and Voorhees branch manager, presented the check at one of the BookMates kick-off meetings for the 2019-2020 school year at the office of the Jewish Community Relations Council in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
“We are so pleased to support the BookMates program,” explained Warren. “More than 25 years ago, my wife and I participated in a very similar program and it made us realize the importance of giving back to the community. Investors Bank also is committed to giving back to the community. Literacy and education are particular passions for the bank. Investors is grateful for the opportunity to help children gain a love for reading that hopefully will carry through the rest of their lives.”
“I am so grateful that Investors Bank has chosen to support our mission of reading to at-risk students,” said BookMates Director Rhonda Shevrin. “I am looking forward to a long relationship.”
BookMates provides weekly one-to-one reading sessions with an adult volunteer in more than 40 schools receiving Title 1 funding in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties. Through the efforts of the trained volunteers, the children are further exposed to a wide range of literature, an expanded vocabulary, and an additional focus on reading comprehension.
According to Shevrin, more than 300 BookMates volunteers, many of who are retirees, read to more than 600 children in Kindergarten through second-grade. The children are not the only beneficiaries. Many of the volunteers return year-after-year to participate in the program because they see it as an enjoyable and satisfying opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life.
“We are delighted to support BookMates,” said Epps. “Investors Bank is committed to bringing ‘community’ back to banking. We believe that we only can be successful if we are involved and giving back to the communities we serve.”
About the Investors Foundation
Investors Bank created the Investors Foundation in 2005 to support the communities Investors Bank serves. The Investors Foundation supports initiatives in the arts, youth development, health and human services, education and affordable housing. The Investors Foundation works to improve the lives of its customers and neighbors.
About Investors Bank
Investors Bank, headquartered in Short Hills, New Jersey, is a full-service community bank that has been serving customers since 1926. With over $27 billion in assets and a network of more than 145 retail branches, Investors Bank delivers personalized services and products tailored to the needs of its customers. Investors Bank’s banking services include complete deposit, loan and cash management products for consumers and businesses.
Investors Bank: Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.
BookMates is a social justice program of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Catholic-Jewish Commission. It was founded in 1999, and is sponsored by Townsend Press in memory of Henry H. Nadell and Marjorie Nadell Schneider. The mission of BookMates is to provide a nurturing one-to-one literacy experience for at-risk children that encourages them to develop a love of reading and provides them with a foundation to succeed in life. The program currently has 300 readers mentoring students in 40 schools in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties. For more information, contact BookMates@jfedsnj.org, or visit the website at www.bookmatessnj.org.