(Extensions of Remarks - March 21, 2019)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E331]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                             HON. JIM COSTA

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, March 21, 2019

  Mr. COSTA. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the local non-profit 
organization Reading and Beyond of Fresno, California as it celebrates 
its 20th anniversary. Since its creation in 1999, Reading and Beyond 
has been a leader in the community, providing educational, health and 
wellness opportunities to underserved families of Fresno County. The 
impact Reading and Beyond has had over the past two decades continues 
to be felt by countless families in the Central Valley.
  In the fall of 1998, members of the First Covenant Church called 
together leaders of the community to explore prospective solutions to 
help neighborhood students struggling with reading. Reading and Beyond 
was founded with the belief that a child's path toward a brighter 
future was paved with books. Initially, Reading and Beyond provided 
tutoring and parenting programs for 30 families in need. Eventually, it 
expanded to include cradle-to-career services for both children and 
their parents, health services and tailored programs to help families 
increase their social mobility and strive for success and self-
  Since its founding, Reading and Beyond has earned many honors both 
locally and nationally. In 2003, Fresno Unified School District praised 
Reading and Beyond as a ``model for other organizations''. In the same 
year, it was chosen as one of only four organizations to receive 
national funding from the U.S. Department of Education to develop its 
Early Childhood Education program into a replicable model. In 2008, 
Kerri Briggs, the U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary for 
Elementary and Secondary Education, recognized Reading and Beyond as a 
``remarkable example of the impact that faith-based organizations have 
in a community''. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded 
$12 million dollars in pilot funding to Reading and Beyond's Fresno 
Bridge Academy program; one of only ten national projects to receive 
this grant.
  What started out as a community-led effort to help neighborhood 
children in Fresno develop their reading abilities, has evolved into an 
organization that serves the needs of children and families across 
seven counties in California. Reading and Beyond has committed to 
empowering families to achieve productive lives through its holistic, 
research, and results-based programs with the end goal of helping 
children succeed.
  Madam Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Reading 
and Beyond as it celebrates twenty outstanding years. Our community is 
forever grateful for the contributions Reading and Beyond has made in 
the Central Valley. I ask that you join me in wishing Reading and 
Beyond long-lasting success.