Sunday, December 25, 2016

REAL Hope Your Day was Merry and Bright!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

REAL Breaking News

Great family event at #LandofaTHOUSANDhillsCoffeeShop
offered every Saturday morning from 9-11
The REAL Program
We have some exciting news! During this holiday season, we have been given the opportunity to purchase our rental home! It was unexpected and a complete surprise. With this, however come some consequences, good and bad, that we need to sort out. The good news is that we will be able to provide stability that is so vital to continue our growth and success here in our incredible home on Ocean St. This will mean more opportunity in the future for us to help and guide the wonderful children and their families that we work with and support. We can continue to provide books for all the children who need them; increase the time to help the parents with their desire to learn English giving their children a stronger family community tie. It means that we can work more days with the children year round. We will be able to work even more closely with the surrounding high schools and colleges providing a mentor program working with the children on their academics.
Here is the other consequence; the not so good. The time frame for this to happen is very short. We realize that if we can’t make this commitment, it would very difficult times ahead for us. Losing our home means that we may not be able to continue the program as we know it. We will not give up on our program and we are fighting to stay on track. If there is any way that you can help us in this endeavor, we would be  “REALLY “grateful.
Story time at #WashingtonStreetBaptistChurch read by Lynn Public Police Officer Summer 2016

We need your help

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Plan a Bid at the #REALNIGHTOUT

This beautiful antique tea set could be yours. Place a bid at the silent auction part of the #REALNightOut

Monday, October 17, 2016

Two Mornings In Maine

TWO Mornings In Maine is another generous donation at this year's #REALnightOUT
Don't miss this year's REAL Night Out, Saturday, October 22, 2016 at Glen Urquhart School, 74 Hart St., Beverly from 6:00-10:00. Get your tickets here!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Look at These from Nancy Schon for REAL

Nancy Schon in her studio
Nancy Schon's miniature sculptures
Sculptor Nancy Schon is the Guest of Honor at this year's REAL NIGHT OUT Fundraiser at Glen Urquhart School in Beverly on 10/22 from 6:00-10:00 pm. One live auction item is a chance to visit Nancy at her studio- what a treat!
Police Officer Michael

Monday, October 10, 2016

What Makes us REAL?

The REAL Program is undergoing a strategic planning process to help us learn what makes us REAL and what will make us more REAL for more people in the future. The process is crucial for us to become recognized as an organization worthy of people's resources of time, money and expertise. 
Our organization's stake holders consist of the children, parents, interns, mentors, specialists, peer educators, community leaders and peer organizations. This is an interesting process to consider and our hope is that we can build and grow for REAL.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Please join us for the Swanky REAL Night Out

Please join us for the annual fundraiser for The REAL Program, a fully recognized 501c3 organization whose mission is to improve #literacy

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

STOP!!!!! Did you sign up for the #REALnightOut

Michael is joining his friends, Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings, to find their way to Glen Urquhart School in Beverly for the REAL Night Out

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 11th at Lynn English High School

Please join The REAL Program and other nonprofits to participate in a time of service to others in honor of the 15th anniversary of September 11th. Congressman Seth Moulton's office is the energy behind this day. Start time is 9:00 am and end time is 12:30 pm. We are proud to be part of this. Hope you can join us. Please register online at Congressman Moulton's website. It is FREE.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

#REAL Press Release for Swanky REAL Night Out

Media contact:
Ginny Slack

Swanky REAL Night Out

August 28, 2016 Lynn, MA – The REAL Program invites you to the Swanky REAL Night Out, to be held on Saturday, October 22nd from 6:00 p.m.  to 10:00 p.m. at Glen Urquhart School in Beverly. A REAL Night Out features a live and silent auction, food from Kelly’s Roast Beef, music from the Pocket Change Trio, and a REAL life performance. The REAL Program (Reading~Educational Assistance~Learning) is a 501(c)3 organization based in Lynn that strives to improve literacy through its after school educational programs for children in grades K-5 as well as through its book collection and food distribution campaign.

According to founder Jan Plourde, “The gap between what the teachers can do and what the families can do is vast. That is where The REAL Program comes in. We are like the extended family for these children.

Kevin Carey, president of the board of directors of The REAL Program, noted author/poet and English professor at Salem State University says, “This group of people gets things done. That is why I like it.”

In Lynn, a city that 100,000 people call home, there are 56 languages spoken. There are 18 public elementary schools and only one public library. Most of the schools do not have school libraries due to the need for classroom space. Only 50% of the children in Lynn attend preschool before they enter kindergarten. The needs of these children are apparent, and the REAL Program works to address them by providing books, food, and homework help for children as well as English language tutoring for their parents in a safe and caring environment.   

The REAL Program’s activities are made possible through a service-learning model designed to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for retired teachers and professionals and quality service-learning opportunities for high school and college students.  Through the collaborative efforts of many individuals, the REAL Program is making a difference in the lives of children.  We invite you to join us in this work by attending our October 22nd fundraiser or making a donation today.

About The REAL Program (Reading~Educational Assistance~Learning):
The REAL Program offers an after-school educational program in Lynn during the academic year and operates a literacy-based summer program for children in grades K-5.  It collects and distributes children’s books, nutritious food, and resources through volunteers in the greater Lynn area.
151 Ocean Street, Lynn, MA 01902.
Tel. 978-993-4425 Fax 866-611-7567

To purchase tickets sponsor a child or to make a contribution, please visit the website at: All proceeds go directly to the program. Operational costs include rent for afterschool program space, printing costs, postage, insurance, telephone, paper goods, website licensing and host management, data management, and maintenance of the REAL MOBILE for book distribution.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mabel's REAL World, Then and Now

My name is Mabel, I am a volunteer/intern at The REAL Program. Before I began the program I had my mind set on what it was going to be like. I 
imagined that I was going to be assigned one kid only to help them with homework if needed; read with them, and play games. As you know  everything doesn’t go as imagined. On the first day Jan introduced other interns and myself to other adults there and to some of the kids. I also remember Jan telling me “now go find a kid who wants to do homework, read, or play. And I said to myself “oh okay, that’s it”. Then I thought “okay now this hard, how am I going to find one kid to play with, and how am I going to approach a kid what if they don’t like me”. But then I just went for it and I began to play with a little three year old boy named Adrian. Although he really didn’t talk, like, literally didn’t talk, he nodded to my questions so there was some type of communication and, with that little bit, I felt welcomed. I am pretty sure we both had fun together that day because at the end of the day he gave me a high five and nodded yes to my question if  he had fun with me
that day. From that day on I knew that I was going to love The REAL Program. Everyday I went I met a new kid and every single one of those kids welcomed me to learn and play with them. Being with a bunch of different kids you are  bound to think there is definitely one that is my favorite. Well that not true, I can’t have a favorite kid because each and everyone of those kids are beautiful individuals. They all have big different personalities that I absolutely adore. I can’t forget the adults who also give the open and welcomed atmosphere. They do not only care about the kids they care for everyone. Now officially being apart if this program it makes me sad to think that this season is almost ending because I am going to be leaving a family of friends. But it will not be the end of The REAL Program days.
Note from the director: Mabel wrote this testimonial 2 years ago. Mabel is indeed not finished. This summer Mabel is an intern with us at The REAL Program and we could not be happier! Today is Mabel's birthday! Happy Birthday to YOU.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The REAL Logo and Contact Information

The REAL Program exists to improve #literacy. People often ask "Why Lynn?"

  • There is only one public library for nearly 100,000 residents in Lynn, MA.
  • There are 18 public elementary schools and only 7 have dedicated school libraries or librarians.
  • There are no book stores.
Ask how you can participate to make a #REAL difference!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The REAL Program at Endicott College

The REAL Program gets greeted like royalty on their recent trip to Endicott College

Endicott College's Event Management Organization and Education Club treated the students and interns of The REAL Program to such a wonderful visit down their version of the Yellow Brick Road on Friday afternoon which culminated with a live performance of the Wizard of Oz (modern times). Thank you to all of you who made this possible. It was a truly unforgettable evening.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Important Announcement Legacy Institute Moved to May 14th

Important Announcement

The REAL Legacy Institute for Early Childhood Educators has been postponed until Saturday, May 14th

Check your calendars for Make Way for Children

Hope you can come!
Please join us on Saturday, May 14th
24 bronze sculptures created by sculptor @Nancy Schon

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The REAL Program builds Literacy with Legos

Students at The REAL Program are writing letters to us explaining why they think they should be able to go to  Legoland in Somerville.
The REAL Program and the Old North Church of Marblehead are building community with Legos!
Literacy, Legos, Lunch together.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Last Year- Little Free Libraries. This year- Make Way for Children

Remember this? Last year's Legacy Institute Keynote speaker, Todd Bol of the Little Free Library Movement
This year's keynote is Sculptor Nancy Schon. Register today at

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snuggle Up and READ Event #LynnREADS

" I learned that the world can be a much smaller place when you have something to share. I met new people, young and old, who were there for several reasons. Many entire families were there because the parents wanted to help their children achieve success through reading. Others were there because they were going to take home a cuddly blanket or wanted to have some milk and cookies. Whatever their reason for coming, I soon found mine. Books become the universal language that we share. Whether or not the child spoke the same language as me, was not the primary thing that we had in common. It was what was in that book that opened up the door between us. I spent a lot of time with a little guy, with virtually no English who excitedly told me about baseball when he found the book on that subject. He told me about his fondness for painting when he found that he could color the pictures. All of this conversation took place in two different languages. I helped him and he helped me. He followed me around showing me all the books that he was finding and telling me all about them in his language and I would answer the best I could in my language. When he reluctantly left with his family, he smiled, told me goodbye, his way, and I answered him the way I know how and we went our separate ways. So I came away satisfied, with my day’s work knowing that we will do this again to make this world a smaller place for some really special kids and their families."
Whole family enjoying Snuggle Up and Read Day at #LynnPublicLibrary

Mrs. Brown is the lead mentor/teacher at The REAL Program. The REAL Program is one of the organizations who participated in the city-wide @LYNNREADS event yesterday @LYNNPUBLICLIBRARY. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

We the People

We the People are words. We need to have literacy to read and understand those words!


The REAL Program exists to improve literacy. 

  • We are excited about the next semester at The REAL Program. We start on Monday, 1/25.
  • We are excited to be part of the Lynn READS Literacy Campaign with an event at Lynn Public Library on Saturday, 1/23 called SNUGGLE UP AND READ.
  • We are excited for this year's Legacy of Teaching Institute for Early Childhood Educators on Saturday, 3/12 with featured keynote sculptor, Nancy Schon.
  • We are excited to be part of a community that cares and strives to improve lives.