Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wilmington Blue Rocks and First Book Celebrate Literacy Success in Chester

On Friday, March 7, at 9:30 am, Blue Rocks mascot, Rocky Bluewinkle, will visit Chester Charter School for the Arts to honor students’ participation in Rocky’s Reading Challenge.
Chester Charter School for the Arts is located at 200 Commerce Drive, Aston, PA 19014.

Chester, PA, March 6, 2014 – The Chester Charter School for the Arts (CCSA), a K-7 public school, is dedicated to improving the Chester community through high academic achievement and artistic excellence. In 2012, The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts (TCF) created CCSA to eradicate poverty in Chester through the empowerment of Chester children. CCSA’s core values, a commitment to fostering literacy and a love of learning, enable students to serve as thoughtful and compassionate agents of social change. On Friday, March 7th, Wilmington Blue Rocks mascot, Rocky Bluewinkle, will visit CCSA at 9:30 am to celebrate literacy and reading achievement.

When the Wilmington Blue Rocks announced Rocky’s Reading Challenge, in partnership with the Delaware State Education Association, they encouraged students to read ten books in a month. If a student accomplished this goal, he or she would receive 2 free tickets to a Blue Rocks game. CCSA students rose to the challenge. First grade teacher Mindy Nguyen notes, “In a class of 25 young readers, 23 of my students, 92% of the class, exceeded Rocky’s expectations, reading 10 books a week. Over the course of six weeks, CCSA first graders read 60 books.”

CCSA’s Lead Reading Specialist, Lisa Wilson, adds, “This challenge has successfully increased student excitement around reading and the enthuasim has reached across grades. It means a great deal to our students that professional athletes believe that reading is important. It’s provided our thriving readers an opportunity to identify as scholars.”

The challenge ends this Friday, March 7, 2014 and culminates with a visit from Rocky Bluewinkle himself. At the same time, CCSA students will be able to select a free book for their home library, generously donated by First Book, a non-profit organization that connects book publishers with community organizations to provide access to new books for children in need. CCSA teachers are still computing the results of the challenge, but 2nd grade teacher, Nicola Robinson predicts, “We’re going to Wilmington.”

CCSA Principal Akosua Watts remarks, “This challenge has been a resounding success. All of us at CCSA are grateful for the support of organizations like First Book and the Wilmington Blue Rocks, whose investment enables us to maintain a direct Kindergarten to college pipeline for Chester students. Through The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, we raise a million dollars each year, in addition to public funding, to support our critical reading and literacy in the arts programs. The Blue Rocks help make reading fun and First Book helps makes reading tangible by placing great literature directly in the hands of our students at no cost. We appreciate their support and we rely on diverse individuals and foundations to make our vision real.”

For more information on The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts or Chester Charter School for the Arts, please contact Carol Hill at (610) 328-8180, or email

The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts:
The mission of The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts is to provide children in Chester with a world-class education:  one that combines academic rigor with artistic creativity; encourages personal responsibility; and addresses the intellectual, emotional, and social needs of each child.

Chester Charter School for the Arts:

The Chester Charter School for the Arts prepares children to employ their intellectual and creative powers to enrich their community.

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