• Rotary Year: 2013-2014
  • Application Date: 4/15/2013
  • Club Name: Kingsport
  • Project Name: Lee Reads
  • Project Total Expenditures: $6,000.00
  • Grant Amount Requested: $3,000.00
  • Describe the Project, its location and its objectives: The Rotary Club of Kingsport seeks to support the Kingsport Initiatives for Training & Employment (KITE) in its efforts to boost literacy and the quality of life among impoverished children. To this end, the Rotary Club of Kingsport supports KITE’s Rotary grant application for $3,000 for the Lee Family Learning Center to help fund a new reading program called “Lee Reads” at Robert E. Lee Apartments public housing complex and the surrounding neighborhood in Kingsport. The program has two goals: First, it would help boost literacy among school-age children and improve academic performance. Secondly, the program would introduce reading to preschool children.
  • This is the Club’s: Primary Project Application
  • Expected Start Date: 8/12/2013
  • Expected End Date: 4/18/2014
  • Describe how the project will benefit the community and/or improve the lives of the less fortunate: Emily has lots of potential. The third grader is outgoing, funny and full of energy. But she struggles academically, and has little help with her studies at home. Emily and her family are residents of public housing, and live at Robert E. Lee Apartments in Kingsport, Tennessee. Like Emily, many of the children in public housing have potential, but need help and guidance to overcome the cycle of under-education and poverty.
    To help children like Emily, the Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority has decommissioned two residential units at Lee Apartments and converted them to the Lee Family Learning Center, where children – through programs such as the one proposed herein – can get the guidance, tutoring and mentoring they need to overcome their disadvantages and succeed in school, and ultimately, in life.
    Lee Family Learning Center hopes to begin a new reading program beginning August 12, 2013, and ending April 18, 2014. The program would serve approximately 20 school-age children from Lee and the surrounding neighborhood in kindergarten through seventh grade, and approximately 10 preschool children age three to five years old. The school-age children would be served from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday each week, while the preschool children would be served for approximately one hour, one day a week. Grants and donations for the program would be used to purchase books, software and educational supplies designed to help boost literacy levels of children.
  • Describe the Rotarian hands-on activities in the project (i.e. non-financial participation): Several Rotarians have agreed to participate in the new reading program, volunteering their time and energy to read to and mentor the children. Those Rotarians include Terry Cunningham, Executive Director of the Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority; Edna Potts, Director of Resident Initiatives for the Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority; Susan LaGuardia, Executive Director of Kingsport Tomorrow; and Cheryl Youland, director of the local chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
    The new reading program is expected to receive additional support from local businesses including Walmart and Target as well as The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension (TNCEP). Other support will come from social service organizations, including the Dogwood Resident Association, Holly Hills Resident Association, Jaycees, Kingsport Department of Parks & Recreation, Kingsport Public Library, Lee Resident Association, Kingsport Initiative for Training & Employment, Literacy Council of Kingsport, and Tennessee’s Community Assistance Corporation (AmeriCorp VISTA, Community Cares).
  • Describe the publicity plan to inform the general public that this is a Rotary sponsored project: The Kingsport Times-News, a newspaper with 100,000 daily readers, will be available to take photographs of Rotarians reading to children in the new program. Such photographs will be published in the newspaper with information detailing the program and its funding support from the Rotary Club. Local radio and television stations will also be invited to broadcast stories about the program and Rotary’s involvement.
  • Cooperating Organizations – Please list each cooperating organization, if any: The reading program has received praise from local educators and community leaders alike. Letters of support have been received from the Literacy Council of Kingsport, the Kingsport Public Library and Lincoln Elementary School, as well as the Kingsport Jaycees and the Advisory Board for the Lee Family Learning Center.
  • Letter(s) of Participation: Jaycees letter.pdf, LFLC Advisory Board letter.pdf, library support letter.pdf, Lincoln Elem support letter.pdf, Literacy Council letter.pdf, Rotary support letter.pdf
  • Project Expenditure Budget – list detail uses of funds for the project, or use the Budget UploadFunds for the program will be used to purchase computers, printers, educational software, subscription to the Kingsport Times-News for educational purposes, books, notebooks and pencils, flash cards, and incentive prizes for reading. (See Budget Upload).
  • Project Funding Budget – list detail sources of funds for the project, or use the Budget UploadRotary Club of Kingsport: $3,000.00. The requested grant amount: $3,000.00.
  • Budget Upload:Rotary Budget Template.xls
  • Primary Contact Name: Sharon C. Hayes
  • Primary Contact Rotary Position: Paul Montgomery
  • Primary Contact Email: pmontgomery@eastman.com
  • Primary Contact Phone: 423-229-1413
  • Financial Contact Name: Sharon C. Hayes
  • Financial Contact Rotary Position: Justin Lester
  • Financial Contact Address: 
    906 E. Sevier Avenue
    P.O. Box 44
    Kingsport, TN 37662
    United States View on Map
  • Financial Contact Email: lester227@gmail.com
  • Financial Contact Phone: 423-239-7535
  • District Grant Project Authorization Letterauthorization.pdf
  • Project Supporting Uploads:K.I.T.E. 2012 IRS letter.pdf, KITE.docx, Lee Family Learning Center.docx
  • Grant Number: 1314-16
  • Grant Award: $3,000.00