Minneapolis, MN, April 29th, 2014: At a midday customer event on Friday April 29th, the non-profit Start Reading Now and technology leader Atomic Data celebrated the latter’ s donation of $45,000 to Start Reading Now’s efforts to close the achievement gap in Minneapolis Public Schools. The event was hosted at Atomic Data’s North Loop Minneapolis headquarters, and several hundred customers and friends attended to help raise an additional $5,000 for the cause. Also in attendance was Minneapolis School Board member Don Samuels, who commented, "I’m delighted that Minneapolis Public Schools is working with this citizen-led program to create opportunity for all children in the city." Atomic Data’s donation will directly support Start Reading Now in serving 2,000 low-income 1st graders during book fairs it will host at 28 Minneapolis Public Schools on June 1st and 2nd. During the fairs, children use the vouchers to buy 10 new books of their own. Over the course of three years in the program, low-income children will each build a library of 30 books that they own.
Start Reading Now is a Minneapolis-based 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2014 by Pam Longfellow and Kevin Terrell to fund vouchers for low income children to buy 10 books each at the start of the summer after 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade. The evidence-based program directly addresses the fact that on average, the lowest income children have less than one book at home, which means kids lack the most essential tool in learning to read – reading material. Research shows that this type of program has a bigger effect on reading scores than three years of summer school – at 1/60th the cost. If you don’t have books, you don’t read. If you don’t read, you don’t learn. If you don’t learn, you fall behind and you are on the short end of the stick for life. So we get kids books. It’s than simple.
Atomic Data is a Minneapolis-based IT solutions provider delivering sophisticated, custom tailored IT solutions to companies large and small, single site or multinational, in-house or in the cloud. Founded in 2001 by CEO and ‘Community Hero’ Jim Wolford, Atomic Data is dedicated to providing financial and in-kind assistance to more than 40 local nonprofits and community organizations. Starting in April 2016, Atomic Data will be highlighting a new nonprofit at each of its monthly BBQ events in an effort to raise money and awareness for the organizations that so many people depend on. For more on Atomic Data’s community involvement, please visit www.atomicdata.com/community.