Dear Friends of ForWords Literacy Lab;

These past few months, and the past few weeks especially, have been incredibly challenging and emotional. We hope you and your family are safe and well.

All of us at ForWords have been deeply affected by the Black Lives Matter movement we’re seeing close to home and around the globe. The issues illuminated are clear and we’re committed to acting together on a path forward to re-imagine and reform the significant injustices and inequities in our community and our country.

The uncertainty of this time has been unsettling, and has sparked some deep conversations with and among students in our programs. But this time has also highlighted the power, resilience and courage of our youth, whose lives will forever be shaped by this moment.

Future Fresno State University student and ForWords scholarship recipient Alondra Ruiz graduates from San Rafael High School.

The first week of June marked the end of ForWords’ spring semester, and we are thrilled to share that three of our ForWords scholarship students are now San Rafael High School graduates!

Please join us in celebrating these young men and women as they embark on their adventures in higher education at San Francisco State University, Fresno State University and the College of Marin. We are so proud and honored to have been a part of their educational journey thus far.

ForWords learning kit, with welcome notes from Summer Bridge program staff & interns.

All ForWords’ educational programs have been online since mid-March to insure the continuity of learning for our students. We have worked together to create new ways to maintain virtual classrooms and engage students, and despite the challenges of online learning, we find that we are just as connected as ever.

The flexibility that has come with this new platform has also allowed ForWords to expand our offerings and add a Friday program to provide academic and technical support, as well as mentoring services, for more English-Language Learners enrolled at San Rafael and Terra Linda High Schools.

In just a few days, we will welcome a full roster of 25 ForWords Summer Bridge to High School students. These rising 9th graders will spend the summer working on gaining knowledge and academic skills that will help them prepare for high school, while also building community, and earning 5 units of high school credit along the way.

While we anticipate that we will be operating our Summer Bridge program online for the duration, we did get the chance to welcome these young students during a drive-through at Pickleweed Park (following all the recommended COVID-19 health protocols) and give them their “Welcome to ForWords” summer learning kits.

Your contributions help to make possible everything we do, from providing free literacy-based educational programs to supporting college-bound high school graduates with academic scholarships. Please consider a donation today. We are grateful to have you as a partner.

With many thanks,

Jeff Gough, President, Board of Directors
Gail Siegel, Executive Director

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