Spotlight on the Good Works of the RCM Community Trust: Great News from Brown Street Academy


The RCM Reading Initiative at Brown Street Academy (BSA) was started in the Fall of 2012.  Since then, the students at BSA have continued to show improvement in their reading and math skills and the program is also serving as a springboard to other initiatives.


On December 10, 2015 students who were the most improved readers in each classroom were honored at an awards ceremony.  Each of these 22 students – a boy and a girl from K5 through 5th grade – received a winter activity kit funded by the RCM Community Trust.  The baskets full of goodies included games, books, coloring sets and other items that were gender and age-appropriate.   In addition, the Milwaukee Bucks Basketball team (thanks to the advocacy of Rotarian JoAnne Anton), presented each of the most improved readers with tickets for their entire family to attend an upcoming Bucks game PLUS a gift card for the evening’s refreshments.  


Milwaukee Bucks Foundation Executive Director Alicia Dupies attended the ceremony and also announced the Johnny O’Brien Reading Challenge (JOB).  This reading challenge is being offered only to Brown Street Academy students.   The entire classroom at BSA that reads the most books in the month of February 2016, will be treated to a Bucks game by Bucks Power Forward Johnny O’Bryant.  O’Bryant will personally greet the students and their parents at the game and provide refreshments as well!  This is an exciting motivation and all BSA students will be winners, as this challenge will result with every classroom benefitting from the joy of reading!


And there’s more good news.  Together, UWM and MATC have applied for an AmeriCorps grant to fund a full-time graduate student to advance the RCM Reading Initiative to other under-performing schools within the Milwaukee Public School System.  If approved, this individual will replicate the RCM Reading Initiative model within at least five more MPS schools.


The students and learning team at BSA continue to work hard to improve reading skills.  RCM plays an important role in advancing the education of these youngsters. The RCM Reading Initiative brought 72 Rotarians and UWM service learner volunteers into BSA, accounting for nearly 2,000 hours of classroom help this semester! 


We all eagerly await the second semester where we will continue to work with BSA and advance the advantages of reading well.   Special thanks to Rotarians Tony Avery, Steve Chevalier, Harry Drake, Tom Gale, Mike Graverson and Mary McCormick for attending the awards ceremony.