(FLINT, Mich., Nov. 7, 2014) – The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce YouthQuest program has been awarded a $2,000 grant to support its early childhood reading curriculum.

The grant from Target Corp. will support expansion of the YouthQuest Reader’s Theater curriculum, which utilizes a method of reading a story aloud like a play, without memorization, props or a stage to improve reading skills.

YouthQuest is a comprehensive, free afterschool program that serves more than 2,000 K-12 students in 18 area schools.

“The Target grant will be instrumental in providing valuable enhancement to a very effective existing program,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President, Education and Training, Flint & Genesee Chamber. “It will help improve reading skills and will connect our youth with opportunities within their own community that they would not otherwise be able to experience.”

The grant will go toward an expansion of the curriculum to include the addition of drama instruction, field trips and career development experiences using community partners from the Flint Youth Theatre, The Whiting and local vendors.

Students in the Reader’s Theater Clubs at all 18 YouthQuest program sites will receive customized instruction from experts in theater production that builds on reading skills and reinforces self-expression.

YouthQuest reinforces learning that takes place during the school day by offering high-quality activities and services that encourage the exploration of new interests in the areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and the arts, and promotes academic achievement, physical fitness, youth leadership and volunteerism.

For more information about YouthQuest, contact Hunyady at rhunyady@flintandgenesee.org or (810) 600-1412.

About YouthQuest

YouthQuest is a high-quality, research-based afterschool program offering educational and enrichment activities that engage young minds. Available at 15 sites in the city of Flint and Genesee County, YouthQuest serves 2,000 students in grades K-12 each year. The program is administered by the Genesee Area Focus Fund, a supporting organization of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers. For more information, visit www.yquest.org.