Overview
Reading Explorers
, a partnership of SandRidge Energy, Public Strategies, and the Inasmuch Foundation, implements a multi-week, intensive, language-rich summer reading camp, based on best practices outlined by the National Summer Learning Association. We supported the effort by:

  • creating original, award-winning character illustrations
  • designing numerous collateral materials to enhance program marketing and implementation
  • building support for the program by bringing opinion leaders in to read to students, thereby creating ambassadors for Reading Explorers
  • working with the media on television features, a full-page news story, an editorial, etc.
  • designing a website (TheReadingExplorers.com)
  • conducting market research to identify students in need
  • creating an environment that would be appealing to elementary students
  • launching an integrated strategic marketing plan to engage kids in the reading program
  • creating a new logo and brand standards

re-charactersChallenge
SandRidge Energy and Public Strategies have adopted several NE Oklahoma City schools, serving low-income African American youth. On average, these youth regress in their reading skills by about four months over the summer break. The elementary school targeted for intervention was the lowest-performing school in the Oklahoma City public school system, with only 14% of third graders and 0% of fourth graders reading at grade level.

Solutions
Public Strategies developed a dynamic and interactive community-led summer reading camp designed to stop summer reading loss and to move children forward socially and academically. We formed critical partnerships, inviting 30 distinguished community leaders to visit and read to the students. In addition, we managed an earned media strategy resulting in an editorial and a full-page story. Public Strategies won multiple industry awards (Public Relations Society of America, the Oklahoma City Advertising Club, and the International Association of Business Communicators) for its work on Reading Explorers materials.

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Outcomes

As a result of this comprehensive initiative, Reading Explorers gained:

  • an average of 3.38 months of reading growth in just six weeks
  • a daily attendance rate of 86%
  • significant news coverage to show the difference the program is making in the community

Let Public Strategies help planĀ and promote your program or community initiative!