The organization has established ties with Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Neighborhood House of Milwaukee and Hmong American Peace Academy, among others.
The collaborations will allow partner organizations to use SHARP Literacy's research-based textbooks, workbooks, artifacts and other educational materials in their after-school and summer programming.
"We know that all children are not provided with the same learning opportunities in life," Lynda Kohler, president and chief executive officer of SHARP Literacy, said in an announcement. "Together with organizations such as Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, MSOE, Neighborhood House of Milwaukee and Hmong American Peace Academy, we are working together to close this educational gap."
Through the organizations' synergistic efforts, Boys & Girls Club members and SHARP students will create a bullying video as part of the national anti-bullying day known as "April Friends Day." The video also advances an anti-bullying project launched by two Boys & Girls Club centers in January. "The Bullying Project," slated to roll out through May, was developed with inspiration from SHARP's "We Love to Learn" book, "Bullying: Is Anyone Listening?"
SHARP's involvement with MSOE will build on a history of collaboration between the two. That collaboration has included the creation of an interactive weather cube that, once ready in May, will act as a weather-themed learning tool for students. Additionally, MSOE associate professor Michael Carriere, Ph.D., along with Growing Power chief executive officer Will Allen, authored SHARP's twelfth "We Love to Learn Book," "There Grows the Neighborhood: Agriculture in the City." Moving forward, Carriere will produce materials for the nonprofit's literacy program, including a workbook for third grade students.
Neighborhood House of Milwaukee plans to implement SHARP's "There Grows the Neighborhood: Agriculture in the City" book and its complementary workbook in its 10-week summer program. While SHARP's visual artist, Daryl Johnson, will guide the program, SHARP muralist Sally Duback will lead the creation of an outdoor mural and Carriere will oversee the development of a sustainable urban garden by students.
Hmong American Peace Academy, which has been involved with SHARP for the last 10 years, will also use the "We Love to Learn" books and arts curriculum in a separate 10-week summer program.
SHARP Literacy's newfound partnerships factor into its three-year strategic plan to expand the reach and strengthen the quality of its programs, according to the nonprofit.