Mount’s afterschool literacy program receives $15,000 grant

December 15, 2016

Veronica Malloy of Millbrook, N.Y. (standing), president of Mount Saint Mary College’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, teaches a literacy course at Newburgh Ministry. 


A Mount Saint Mary College literacy program for underprivileged children, hosted by the Newburgh Ministry charitable organization, was awarded a $15,000 technology grant from Warwick Savings Foundation earlier this month.

The funding will be used to purchase tablets, laptops, software programs, and other digital equipment for educating the young students and their parents in the newly developed “Literacy for the Community” segment of the program.

Teacher candidates will also use the new equipment to develop skills for 21st century teaching. This purchase will aid the college in its mission to produce skilled, well-rounded, compassionate educators who will go on to serve schools in Orange County, the Mid-Hudson region, and beyond.

The afterschool initiative is a collaborative venture between the Mount’s Sigma Tau chapter of Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) – the International Honor Society in Education – and Newburgh Ministry, which has been serving disadvantaged members of the community for more than three decades. The Ministry is headed by director Colin Jarvis.

The Mount’s KDP, which currently has 250 members, has earned national recognition, having received the “Achieving Chapter Excellence” award three consecutive times.

Developed by Mount teacher candidates over the summer interim, the literacy program is run by nearly a dozen Mount volunteers who have been working with children at the Ministry every Thursday since the program’s inception. So far, it has been enjoyed by dozens of at-risk elementary through middle school students.

The broad goals of the program are to improve children’s life perspectives, develop their literacy skills, increase their confidence in their abilities, and help them to believe that a college education is possible for them.

KDP chapter president Veronica Malloy of Millbrook, N.Y. and vice president Emily Meehan of Warwick, N.Y. spearheaded the initiative. Mount education professors Sonya Abbye Taylor and Ludmila Smirnova, co-counselors of the KDP chapter, assisted the teacher candidates in designing the program.

Young participants and their families are scheduled to present projects created during the weekly program at the college’s annual literacy conference in April 2017. They will also get a tour of the Mount in an effort promote interest in higher education and a brighter future.

Taylor says that the program is beneficial for not only the young students, but also for the Mount teacher candidates.

“This will help our students to be more effective communicators,” she said. “And this is something where they generate the curriculum and dictate exactly how they teach it, just like they will one day in their own classrooms.”