The Nehemiah Project in Milwaukee received a $5,000 SPARK grant from Diversified Insurance Solutions to establish a new program to provide literacy services to teenage boys. The majority of the boys the Nehemiah Project works with are poor readers with literacy skills that are 3-5 grade levels below their educational placement.
“During their elementary years, many of our boys missed the basics of learning how to read so school has always been a struggle for them. A literacy specialist can identify the skills they’re missing and tutors can then work on specific areas of need to maximize improvement,” says Marye Beth Dugan, executive director of the Nehemiah Project.
In addition to hiring a literacy specialist, the program will train and employ student teachers from area colleges so they can work one-on-one with the boys four days a week.
The Nehemiah Project provides a transitional home for boys ages 13-17 who have been separated from their families due to abuse, neglect or behavioral issues. Boys typically stay anywhere from four to 12 months and must attend school during that time.
“While there are literacy programs for young children and older adults, very few exist for school-age teens. We’re excited our funds will be used to address a significant area of need that would otherwise hold these boys back,” says James McCormack, founder and chairman of Diversified Insurance Solutions.
The year-long $30,000 SPARK giveback program was developed as part of Diversified Insurance Solutions’ 30th anniversary. The company looks to fund new or existing programs that use fresh ideas to address a community need or problem.
Diversified Insurance Solutions is one of Wisconsin’s largest, full-service insurance brokers, providing employee benefits, risk management and business insurance to area companies. For more information, visit www.div-ins.com.