Wells Fargo Donates $10,000

On December 19th, the folks from Wells Fargo came to our office to present Reading and Beyond with a donation of $10,000 in support of our Workforce Development Program, based on the Fresno Bridge Academy.  Also present were City Councilmembers, Olivier Baines and Sal Quintero.

In 2010, Wells Fargo invested $219 million in 19,000 non-profits worldwide, in support of local programs such as Fresno Bridge Academy.  The success of these programs stems from Wells Fargo’s involvement and from the belief that communities benefit most from decisions made at the local level.

The goal of the Fresno Bridge Academy is to move families from government dependence to self-reliance by helping to remove barriers such as the needs for childcare, transportation, medical care, education, and money management.   Bridge Academy provides employment training, job placement, family support, child tutoring, and adult education.

Reading and Beyond wishes to thank Sandy Cha and Geri Yang for presenting the donation on behalf of Wells Fargo.

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with additional PHOTOS

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Fresno Bridge Academy


American Graduate

Upward Bound - Broadcast Event

On December 14th, ValleyPBS aired a live broadcast entitled American Graduate featuring six high school students enrolled in Reading and Beyond’s Upward Bound Program. The goal of the broadcast directly aligns with the goal of Reading and Beyond’s Upward Bound Program, which is to help students to graduate from high school and prepare for college.

The purpose of the broadcast was to give a voice to those who are committed to finding solutions to the dropout crisis by highlighting skill-building opportunities, resources, and strategies that help keep students interested in staying in school and graduating.

Reading and Beyond’s Upward Bound students served on an Advisory Panel convened by ValleyPBS, along with other key leaders of Fresno, to plan and coordinate broadcast content. Students had the opportunity to share their story along with dropout prevention strategies to inform providers, other students, and families.

As Natalie Chavez of ValleyPBS shared: “By marrying the success of Reading and Beyond’s Upward Bound program with ValleyPBS, the American Graduate broadcast provided a platform for six extraordinary youth to share their successes and one simplistic message, the most important key to high school graduation and academic success is for a student to have a mentor, a caring adult in their corner advocating for them and providing them the encouragement, accountability and the resources necessary for them to navigate the sometimes overwhelming challenges of school.”

View VIDEO of the student stories

View VIDEO of the entire broadcast


Educational Parent Summit

Over 100 parents and students gathered at the 1st annual “Parent Engagement: Access and Empowerment” educational summit organized by Reading and Beyond, Fresno Center For New Americans, and Californians For Justice.  The event took place at the Mosqueda Community Center.


As the title suggests, the goal of this summit was to empower parents to actively engage in improving the quality of education that their child receives in Fresno Unified schools.  Parents attended three workshops at the event. The presenters were from The Education Trust, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California, and Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) Parent University.

• How to use the new parent portal Achievement Technology

      Learning Assessment System (ATLAS)

• English Language Learner (ELL) data and information

• Rights and Responsibilities of students and parents


A key component in empowering parents is allowing them access to key information and resources available in the new FUSD online parent portal, so that they may be well informed and encouraged to work with Fresno Unified to ensure that their children are receiving the best education possible.


The summit began with a light breakfast, followed by opening words by District 5 City Councilmember, Sal Quintero; Luis Chavez, Chief of Staff for District 5 and Board Member of Reading and Beyond; Felicia Jones, Local Advocacy Specialist for Families In Schools; Rosa Cuevas, Parent, of Reading and Beyond; May Yang, Parent, of Fresno Center For New Americans; and Miriam Hernandez, Student, of Californians For Justice. 


Reading and Beyond extends special thanks to the presenters and speakers for participating in the summit, and to Fresno Center For New Americans and Californians For Justice for partnering with us in organizing this event.

View PHOTOS of the event



January 8

Ditch the Workout... Join the Party!  On January 8th, Reading and Beyond will start the new year with a Zumbathon® fundraising fitness event at our new home at the Mosqueda Community Center.

Zumba® fitness is a fun and unique way to kick start your New Year’s Resolution! Dance, laugh, and help raise money for Reading and Beyond, all while burning off some of those extra holiday calories.  Join us for an afternoon of prizes and high energy Latin-inspired dance moves for all skill and fitness levels. Don't worry if you can't dance, come and have a blast!

A $5.00 donation to Reading and Beyond gets you a ticket.  To donate and register visit our Zumba webpage at the link below.

For tickets visit our Zumba page


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Help us reach more children and families through our programs and services.  You can make a one-time donation, a monthly pledge, or arrange to donate a vehicle or property.  Click below to make a donation today.

eNewsletter - Issue 16 - December 2011

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Promise Neighborhood Planning Grant

Fresno Selected as one of 15 Communities Nationwide

The U.S. Department of Education has announced that they will be awarding Reading and Beyond a Promise Neighborhood planning grant, which is expected to be just under $500,000.  Over the next year, Reading and Beyond will formulate an implementation plan and proposal to ultimately break the cycle of poverty in the Lowell/Jefferson/ Webster neighborhood...



Downtown Fresno WinterFest

3,500 Books Given to Families

On December 10th, the Downtown Fresno Winterfest took place at Fresno City Hall.  The event offered children’s games, crafts, bounce houses, live performances, all cumulating with a tree lighting ceremony.

To join in the festivities, Reading and Beyond was there to give away free children's books.  Our volunteers gave out 3,500 new and gently used books to families in attendance.  The books were provided by the Central Valley Book Bank, a program of the United Way of Fresno County.

Reading and Beyond wishes to thank Fresno City Hall and the Central Valley Book Bank for their support.

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