203 E Fourth Street
Lexington KY 40508
Contact Information
Address 203 E Fourth Street
Lexington, KY 40508
Phone (859) 252 6527 x110
Contact Name Sarah Harcourt Watts
Web and Social Media
All smiles at Reading Camp!
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 2004
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer

If you'd like to volunteer with or donate to Reading Camp, be in touch today! Contact Sarah at

Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement

Our mission is to promote the personal and academic growth of at-risk students through summertime educational opportunities and mentoring.

Background Statement

Reading Camp was founded in the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington in 2002 to make a positive impact in the lives of children and families in our communities, which encompass one fourth of the poorest counties in the United States. Reading Camps serve 3rd -5th  graders who are identified by their teachers as struggling readers, at least one year behind in their reading skills. In the United States, 66% of 4th graders are not proficient in reading and in Kentucky, 64 percent are not proficient in reading. Reaching students at this point in their education is critical because research shows that if a student does not read at grade level by the end of the 4th grade, his or her chances of success in middle school and beyond significantly lessen. Many do not even graduate from high school, which means that their chances of continuing the cycle of poverty for themselves, their children and their communities is very great.

Reading Camp meets the educational, social and emotional needs of children each summer by providing a FREE week of camp. At Reading Camp, each child receives intensive reading instruction geared to his/her needs, participates in groups with other children who share the same struggles, discovers he/she is “smart,” and that reading is possible, and reduces chances of summer learning loss that is so prevalent among low-income, at-risk students. Equally important, children grow socially and emotionally by enjoying experiences that they may not have at home, testing their confidence and abilities and discovering new skills, talents and interests. Most importantly, they develop relationships with adults that teach them trust and discipline, and increase their self-esteem. Reading Camp nourishes a child academically, physically, and emotionally developing children holistically, an experience that is common to children of privilege, but not as common to the children Reading Camp serves.

Due to the unique nature of the program, its success in the Diocese of Lexington and the need for a literacy program in communities throughout the United States, Reading Camp Network was officially launched in October 2011, serving as a vehicle for new Reading Camps  throughout the United States.  The Network provides communication and media support, training conferences, access to experienced Reading Camp directors as consultants, a unified, professional online presence and a decade of knowledge and wisdom to help communities launch sustainable Reading Camps.
Impact Statement

Needs Statement
Top Five Needs
  1. Funding:  camper scholarships, recreational activities, instructional materials and operating costs
  2. Volunteers:  vibrant volunteer community willing to serve Reading Camp year-round, not only during the summer camp season
  3. Visibility and awareness:  ensuring that school systems know we exist and what services we provide; developing positive relationships with businesses and the community
  4. Board Development:  identification of influential leaders interested in being part of Reading Camp's work
  5. Mentors: individuals willing to spend an hour every other week with Reading Campers at school during the school year
CEO/Executive Director Statement

"When we talk of the millions who are culturally deprived, we refer not to those who do not have access to good libraries, museums [or] the arts, but to those deprived of the words with which everything else is built, the words that open doors.

Children without words are licked before they start. Most of them have never seen their parents read a book or a magazine, or heard words used in other than rudimentary ways related to physical needs and functions.

Thus is cultural fallout caused, the vicious cycle of ignorance and poverty reinforced and perpetuated.

- adapted from Peter S. Jennison

Many of our campers live below the poverty line; their families may at times need assistance to put food on the table, to clothe their children and to keep a roof over their heads.  The children who attend Reading Camp live in financial poverty.   

But how often, when we think of the poor, of low-income communities, do we consider this other most basic poverty: an impoverishment of expression?
How often do we dig beneath the surface of the financial poverty to address one of its most basic underlying causes: the inability to understand, interpret, and impart ideas and knowledge both laterally and vertically, with those whom society would place on a higher rung of the economic ladder?  Reading Camp addresses this very basic deprivation: deprivation of words, of language, of ability to express oneself and communicate effectively. 

In one week, we may not be able to teach a child to read; we may not be able to raise a child's reading level by one grade.  In one week, though, we can immerse a child in a hyper-literate, multi-generational world.  We can turn off the television, take away the videogames and the cell phones.  We can open a book, a new world of ideas, together.  We can create mini-libraries in every cabin, every Learning Center, outdoors, indoors, on the mountain, and down by the pool.  We can make dialogue with the written word a normal, un-intimidating, pleasurable part of daily life.

We can teach the children that the written word is theirs for the taking.  It is not something high on a pedestal, reserved for only a segment of society.  Words are theirs.  Knowledge is theirs.  And once they understand that the words are there for them, not as a trick or a trap, but as an aid and a buoy, they will understand, too, that whatever it is they want or dream is theirs as well.  All they must do is open a book.

Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Tertiary Organization Category Public & Societal Benefit / Citizen Participation
Geographic Areas Served
Reading Camp serves children from Central, Eastern, and Northern Kentucky.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.
Reading Camp serves 3rd-5th graders who are identified as at-risk students. They are at least one grade level behind in reading. Through summer camp programs, we aim to accomplish the following:
  1. Review and strengthen struggling students' literacy and academic skills
  2. Enhance the development of social skills and other "soft skills" that are proven predictors of success
  3. Prevent/reverse summer learning loss
  4. Develop positive relationships that will encourage self-confidence and self-esteem
  5. Increase access to academic enrichment opportunities for at-risk students 
StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?
Provide struggling 3rd-5th graders with research-based, differentiated learning centers (reading comprehension, creative writing, reading strategies, phonics, encoding/decoding, site words and pleasure reading) that identify weaknesses and build literacy and academic skills in a failure-free setting at summer Reading Camps and during the school year in afterschool programs.
Create social and team building experiences both indoors and outdoors that develop social skills, self-esteem and other "soft skills" that are predictors of success. Through these experiences, counselors, tutors and mentors will coach children to verbalize their feelings, think before acting, work as a team, calm themselves when frustrated or angry, and understand consequences for negative behaviors. These experiences will be lead by peers, teens and multi-generational adults.
Offer after school programs that follow the curriculum of a summer Reading Camp to reinforce or introduce positive reading experiences and supplement school instruction through literacy tutoring.
CapabilitiesHelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?
Reading Camp partners with school districts from which we receive our Reading Campers. Without their support we would not have campers or data. Additionally, Reading Camp was founded by the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, so we are fortunate to not only have the support of the Episcopal Church, but the entire faith community. We are also partnering with the RSVP organization, Trailblazers and the United Way to recruit, train, and retain volunteers. And, as we reach out to businesses in the communities we serve, we find that they are not only willing to offer financial support, but are also excited about volunteer opportunities for their associates. Finally, we are continually seeking other nonprofits with whom we can partner to serve our kids.
IndicatorsHelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact?
Indicators of Reading Camp program success include:
Students improving academic performance, especially in literacy. This is measured by state and local testing that determines a child's reading level and performance in reading and writing. 
Students will engage in literacy activities in the classroom. This will be measured by teacher feedback. 
Students' attitude about their academic abilities and school will improve. This will be measured by surveying students, and students  reporting they believe they can succeed and like school.
Students will develop interests and talents discovered at camp. This will be measured by parent and student surveys. 
ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?
Although we have seen improvement in students' reading skills, we have have not tracked the progress or done as much follow-up during the school year as we would like. This year, we will implement measurements and tools that will allow us to track success. We will also work through the mentors to maintain relationships and follow students through the school year.
Another struggle is retaining volunteers. We will work harder to recognize volunteers and maxiumize the volunteer experience.
Finally, we are working on a better donor, volunteer and supporter database that will allow us to communicate with those who believe in our mission and engage them in our work. 
Board Chair
Board Chair JeanEllen Hiter Melton
Company Affiliation BCTCS
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2017
Board Members
Amy Carrington Commerce LexingtonVoting
Danielle Howe Engineer, Toyota Motor ManufacturingVoting
JeanEllen Hiter Melton Advisor, Bluegrass Community & Technical CollegeVoting
Donnie Niehaus Ward, Hocker, and Thornton
Meg Phillips Community Action Council
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 1
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 80%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Program / Program Planning
CEO Comments
With 64 percent of all Kentucky 4th graders not reading on a proficient level, there is a tremendous opportunity for Reading Camp to impact the trajectory of a child's life, thus significantly impacting the community. The challenges we face are making schools and families aware of our program and finding funding to meet the substantial need.
To meet these challenges we are partnering with schools, community organizations, higher education and businesses. Together, we can get the children who need our services to a Reading Camp and provide this opportunity free of charge to parents. 
Illiteracy is not a child's problem, or even a family's problem, it is a community problem that requires all to work toward a solution. 
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Sarah Harcourt Watts
Term Start July 2015

Sarah Harcourt Watts has taught elementary school for four years and also worked as a Research Associate for the Pluralism Project, a non-profit focused on religious diversity. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Religion from Transylvania University and a Master of Theological Studies in Religious Studies and Education from Harvard Divinity School. Sarah lives with her husband and daughter in Lexington, KY. She has a passion for working to improve the lives of children.

Co-CEO Renae Stanger
Term Start Feb 2015



Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 200
Contractors 3
Retention Rate 0%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs
Allison Duvall 2010 - Aug
Michelle Sjogren -
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation No
CEO Comments

Remedial literacy program and enriching summer day camp for children from primarily urban, inner-city neighborhoods.
Budget $4,500
Category Education, General/Other Literacy
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), At-Risk Populations, Other Economic Level
Remedial literacy program and enriching overnight summer camp for children from rural and some urban areas
Budget $12-20,000.00
Population Served , ,
Description Remedial literacy programs after school 
Budget $1500.00
Population Served , ,
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/Chapter2002
Kentucky Nonprofit Network2012
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $109,600.00
Projected Expenses $108,569.00
Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage 0%
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$2,000$0$0
Individual Contributions$22,886$14,237$26,211
Investment Income, Net of Losses------
Membership Dues$300$4,150$2,310
Special Events$4,130$2,840$3,729
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$55,930$52,795$17,072
Administration Expense$48,852$28,300$74,477
Fundraising Expense$1,503$1,329$7,121
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.011.021.14
Program Expense/Total Expenses53%64%17%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%2%8%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$25,375----
Current Assets$25,375----
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$672----
Total Net Assets$24,703----
Audit Documents
2012 Audit 2011 and 2012
2010 Audit
2009 2009 Audit
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Registration Yes
CEO Comments As a religious entity, the Diocese of Lexington (including Reading Camp) is exempt from all federal tax filing under Section 6033 of the Internal Revenue Code. This includes Form 990.  If necessary, a cash deficit is covered by the other ministries of the Diocese in a pooled cash account. Reading Camp is working to improve fund raising efforts to be 100% self-funded.
Foundation Staff Comments Reading Camp is a program within a religious organization that is not required to file Form 990. Revenue and expense figures for the program were derived from income statements produced by the program. 
Address 203 E Fourth Street
Lexington, KY 40508
Primary Phone 859 252 6527 x110
CEO/Executive Director Sarah Harcourt Watts
Board Chair JeanEllen Hiter Melton
Board Chair Company Affiliation BCTCS