CBS Pilot Project Increases Reading Scores and Bible Knowledge

The Chicago Bible Society has partnered with By The Hand for Kids - a Faith Based non-profit tutoring program - to pilot the use of the American Bible Society Mission:Literacy reading curriculum in two high-poverty communities in Chicago.

The results of the pilot project are extremely favorable. The By The Hand Club for Kids is one of the largest and most successful after-school programs in Chicago. Currently working in three locations throughout the city, By The Hand Club focuses on Children who are at the highest risk of failure in areas with high poverty and underperforming schools. Nearly 900 children participate in their various programs. In an exclusive interview with By The Hand staff members, we were told that the State of Illinois regularly bases the future increases in incarceration of new offenders on low reading scores.  In other words the State look upon students with low reading scores as future inmates in the penal system.

This points out the value of this new project's purpose and Goals:

The mission of the Chicago Bible Society is to provide access to the Bible to all people by overcoming the barriers of poverty, education, health, culture or imprisonment and to encourage the reading and understanding of Scripture. This two-fold mission can be understood as Provision and Engagement.

Today's Children have been called the "Post-Sunday School" generation. Our increasingly secular culture has diminished the common knowledge of the Bible thus making the task of evangelism more difficult.

The children in the program also have the additional burdens of poverty and poor education that limit their access to the Bible.  Poor reading skills also affect quality of life and as noted earlier have a relationship to crime and incarceration later in life.  The Urban literacy project seeks to address all these needs.

In conclusion, the Goals of the Urban Literacy project are:
1.  To increases the basic reading skill of early primary school age children most at risk of poor literacy due to poverty.
2.  To increase knowledge of the Bible in age-appropriate format in a manner where both content is retained and the children engage with the Scripture.

The results of the pilot project  showed significant growth in new Biblical knowledge after using the curriculum in both locations. Reading scores of the students were positively affected by the curriculum.

According to CBS Executive Director Ken Oliver, the pilot project exceeded expectations. "The kids just loved the Bible story books. The illustrations are of such a high quality that they grab their attention"

With additional funding, The Chicago Bible Society can expand this new outreach in the metro area. You can make a donation today using a credit card or e-check using Paypal.  Of course checks and money orders are also welcome.  Just go to our website for more information on donating to CBS

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