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
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

Reading Camp provides 3rd through 5th graders who are reading below grade level non-traditional educational opportunities that build confidence and empower them to achieve academic success.

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. 

At Reading Camp, kids don’t just read they soar!

Childhood illiteracy in Kentucky is a problem…Reading Camp offers a life-changing solution.

Each 3rd-5th grade camper receives the following, at no cost to the families:

• A full week of day or overnight camp

• Over 17 hours of intensive, small group reading instruction

• Fun, confidence-building activities

• New, age-appropriate books

• A high-quality backpack

• Time and attention of caring adults and teens

• Meals and snacks

Our goals:

• Review and strengthen struggling students’ literacy and academic skills

• Enhance social skills development and other “soft skills” that are predictors of success

• Prevent/reverse summer learning loss

• Increase access to academic enrichment opportunities for low-income student

Impact Statement

Our accomplishments:


 1) A new partnership was made with the Lexington Public Library, enabling a RC book club location open to all at the Northside branch location

2) Campers, on average, increased 0.4 grade levels in reading in one week of camp

3) Over 70% of campers gained reading confidence during the week of camp
Our goals: 
1) Establish an after school program at a Fayette County Public School
2) Establish a new day camp
3) Foster new partnerships in our community
Needs Statement
  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 about 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
CEO/Executive Director Statement

One summer at Reading Camp, we had a camper named Ombeni who had never been swimming before. A recent immigrant to the US, this just wasn’t something that had been available to his family. Thus, he and his mom were both nervous to learn that part of the camp day would be spent at the pool. I reassured them that he would have plenty of help if he did want to try to swim.

Our first day at the pool, a Reading Camp counselor showed Ombeni that if he held two pool noodles while he stepped in the water, they would keep him afloat. He tried, but still felt nervous. Another camper brought him a couple more pool noodles. He collected a few more himself. Soon, Ombeni splashed and played in the water while buoyed by an impressive bunch of a dozen pool noodles!

When you support Reading Camp, you are offering a pool noodle to a child in need. When you volunteer your time helping a child learn to read, you are lifting a camper up. When you donate toward a field trip so that a child may have a new experience, you are lifting a camper up. Partnerships in our community that allow us to share resources lift campers up. Local leaders who share their time to serve as board members lift campers up. Reading Camp kids come to us with a variety of things weighing them down: illiteracy, low-confidence levels, often low income levels. But Reading Camp changes the narrative by connecting the people and resources needed to buoy these children up and to help them reach new heights.

Thank you,

Sarah Harcourt Watts

Reading Camp Executive Director

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 and Eastern 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 Donnie Niehaus
Company Affiliation Ward, Hocker, and Thornton
Term Jan 2018 to Dec 2020
Board Members
Eden BennettLexington Public LibraryVoting
Colleen HallLexington Public LibraryVoting
Rebecca HearnWesbancoVoting
Donnie NiehausWard, Hocker, and Thornton
Meg PhillipsCommunity Action Council
Amanda PlakoshValvoline
Janet SheddRetired TeacherVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity. Add number
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 4
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.




Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 40
Contractors 1
Retention Rate 100%
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
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs
Allison Duvall2010 - 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

The Reading Camp Book Club is a free, monthly after-school program that builds confidence and shows reading can be fun! Students receive a free book each month, read the book as a group, then take part in activities like literacy-based art, reading skill games, and cooperative story-writing.

Budget $2000.00
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted June 2015
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, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $71,955.80
Projected Expenses $71,853.67
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 Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$2,000
Individual Contributions$21,151$26,136$22,886
Investment Income, Net of Losses------
Membership Dues--$883$300
Special Events$3,337$6,659$4,130
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$24,277$40,431$55,930
Administration Expense$42,593$40,431$48,852
Fundraising Expense$803$1,113$1,503
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.991.391.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses36%42%53%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets--$37,806$25,375
Current Assets--$37,806$25,375
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities----$672
Total Net Assets--$37,806$24,703
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. 
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 Donnie Niehaus
Board Chair Company Affiliation Ward, Hocker, and Thornton