Because reading is the door that opens boundless opportunities
KENSINGTON, Pa., Sept. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The donor funded Kravinsky Literacy Program is back for year two at local Philadelphia high school, Liguori Academy. Zell Kravinsky, renowned utilitarian, philanthropist, investor, and educator has led the implementation of the Program with his unwavering contribution to the advancement of Liguori Academy and its students. Kravinsky is widely known for donating his kidney to a stranger, acknowledging the tremendous disparity in health equity specifically for lower-income black individuals. After the donation of his kidney, Kravinsky spoke to a group of Princeton Bioethics students and was later published in the New York Times justifying the donation mathematically, noting that the chances of dying as a result of the procedure would have been about 1 in 4,000. Kravinsky believed that, under the circumstances, "to withhold a kidney from someone who would otherwise die means valuing one's own life at 4,000 times that of a stranger", a ratio he termed "obscene."(1)
Kravinsky's leadership has inspired others to join him in support of the critical math and reading remediation program now called, the Kravinsky Literacy Program. This program is changing hundreds and thousands of young urban lives, and the Philadelphia community, for the better and is a top priority for Liguori Academy's Advancement (Development) Office and team.
"I'm honored to be able to implement the Kravinsky Literacy Program with our students. The fact that the program meets each student on their individual reading level is what makes the program so successful. The computer application keeps students engaged with interesting subject matter on their own level, while they practice various reading strategies and access new vocabulary. The program is the true definition of "differentiated instruction" in the classroom because students are all doing something different during their computer app/independent reading rotations. Students rotate up to three times during our classes (small group, independent reading, and computer application).
"From an educator's standpoint, it's exciting to see our efforts within the context of the program come to fruition in the form of students advancing their reading levels. It's incredible to see our students gain a new-found confidence in their literacy skills." – Lisa Laska, Reading Specialist at Liguori Academy
In 2021, in partnership with a specialized consulting firm, Liguori Academy began creating a longer-term strategic plan to immerse grades 9-12 in the Kravinsky Literacy Program. The plan would expand their existing reading and math remediation initiative to be more comprehensive, data-driven, and beneficial for students to achieve life-changing college and career goals.
This year, Liguori is introducing the Kravinsky Literacy Program with a structured, full week, formal reading and remediation initiative that encompasses all students in grades 9, 10,11 and 12. The program is monitored and overseen by the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) and the school Principal. A resource team for individual student support includes the CAO, Principal, and accredited Reading Specialists. Students that attend Liguori Academy Fortis, an accelerated learning opportunity for over-age and under credited students to earn their high school diploma, will also participate in the Program.
"It is never 'too late' to enrich a student's reading and math skills and enhance overall literacy. Our goal at Liguori Academy is to ensure all students are at or above grade level in reading to ensure college and career readiness and facilitate lifelong learning," says Mike Marrone, President, and Founder of Liguori Academy.
The establishment and sustainability of the Kravinsky Literacy Program relies heavily on philanthropic giving, internal and external leadership, and the fiscal resources provided at the direction of Zell Kravinsky. In addition, Liguori plans to pursue the formation of a philanthropically driven and securely invested permanent endowment to ensure the long-term sustainability, growth, and impact of the Kravinsky Literacy Program and to add a math literacy program in the future.
With the shared vision and commitment of dozens of leading Philadelphia business, civic, and educational leaders who brought the mission and important work of preparing future leaders through individualized learning in a community that offers boundless opportunities, "Liguori Academy is confident that the Kravinsky Literacy Program is a game and life changer" (Gina Craig, Liguori Academy) for their students, providing a solid foundation that prepares them to achieve their goals.
Liguori was founded on the principle of disrupting a broken educational system. The years leading up to this point have been about evolving, learning, and building to fulfill the dream of Liguori Academy. This year, they are committed to unleashing the power and promise of Liguori Academy in every facet of the organization from procuring funding to expanding the Student Life and Workforce programs.
- Liguori Academy graduates are prepared to excel in post-secondary education and the workforce, making them college and career ready.
- Tuition assistance and academic support are provided to every student; enabling all qualified student applicants to attend Liguori regardless of financial circumstance.
- Liguori Academy holds a 100% student graduation rate. Every student has graduated and gone onto college, career prep programs or the military since Liguori opened its doors in 2016.
- Liguori created an educational platform that can differentiate instruction in every class for every student. This state-of-the-art reading, evaluation and remediation cloud-based software system allows the faculty to issue an assessment to customize the lesson plan for each student based on exactly what they need at every level.
- Employer Informed Curriculum for the Liguori Academy Workforce Program prepares students with the experience they need to secure a career upon graduation.
For more information or to contribute to Liguori Academy visit www.LiguoriAcademy.org/donate
(1)Singer, Peter (December 17, 2006). "What Should a Billionaire Give – and What Should You?". The New York Times.
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SOURCE Liguori Academy