The Russell Life Skills and Reading Foundation helps inner-city children by teaching and reinforcing reading skills that are critical for success in life. Through after-school programs throughout South Florida, certified teachers work with small groups of children to nurture a love of reading and a passion for learning that will last a lifetime.
History of the Foundation
|The Russell Life Skills and Reading Foundation was established in 1998 by then-Miami Dolphins linebacker Twan Russell and his mother, Corliss, a middle school teacher with a huge heart for helping struggling children. Twan grew up in the inner-city and felt that a mastery of reading played a large part in his overcoming his circumstances. He received a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Communications and Criminology from the University of Miami that has helped him achieve his goals long after his football career ended.
Twan and Corliss saw firsthand the challenges illiteracy causes, and witnessed the lack of educational reinforcement resources available to minority youth. So Russell, along with his late mother Corliss Ann Russell, decided to go on the offensive against illiteracy, and founded the Russell Life Skills and Reading Foundation (RLSARF) in 1998. The Foundation currently serves more than 1,000 children in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, primarily through facilitating free after-school reading and homework help programs.
Why We are Needed
If reading skills are not acquired at an early age, children are much more likely to lack the reading proficiency needed to succeed in High School and/or vocational training. Currently 33% of fourth-graders score below basic levels on the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) reading test.* For low-income students, this rate is a shockingly-high 49%. A staggering 22% of adults possess less than basic reading skills, making them essentially illiterate.
We can help solve this problem in our community by turning nonreaders into children who can not only read, but who can comprehend and appreciate what they read and translate that into academic success. We see it happen every day at our Reading Room centers.
*Source: National Center for Educational Statistics. “Basic” is defined as possessing no more than the most simple literacy skills.
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