Mercer Street Friends Community Schools Hosts Event to Highlight Trenton School District’s Reading Intervention Program

Mercer Street Friends hosted an event at Luis Muñoz-Rivera School to highlight the Trenton Public School District’s Reading Intervention Program, during which the New Jersey State Golf Association Youth Foundation made a generous $25,000 donation to support the program.

Pictured, left to right, along with two students from Luis Muñoz-Rivera Elementary School: Dr. Olivia Russo, Principal, Luis Muñoz-Rivera School; Frank O’Brien, Chair, New Jersey State Golf Association Youth Foundation; Bernie Flynn, CEO, Mercer Street Friends; Kaitlin Stahlbrand, Site Coordinator, Luis Muñoz-Rivera School; Bernadette Trapp, Director, Mercer Street Friends Community Schools; and Dr. Jose Rodriguez, Assistant Superintendent, Trenton Public School District.

Trenton, NJ – Mercer Street Friends, a nonprofit whose mission supports local families through comprehensive food and education programs, today proudly showcased the reading advancements made by first and second grade students in the Trenton School District’s Luis Muñoz-Rivera Elementary School, and announced receipt of a generous $25,000 gift from the New Jersey State Golf Association Youth Foundation (NJSGAYF).

Students from the Reading Intervention program demonstrated their reading abilities before family members, friends and supporters and received certificates of achievement. The transformative donation from the NJSGAYF, the largest in the organization’s history, was also presented during the event. The funds will be dedicated to advancing the goals of the Mercer Street Friends Community Schools Reading Intervention program.

Mercer Street Friends, through its nationally recognized Community Schools initiative, provides the Reading Intervention program to help young students gain grade level reading proficiency. A full-service Community School is a public elementary or secondary school that uses established partnerships between schools and community organizations to provide well-rounded educational opportunities, and meet the social, emotional, physical, mental health and academic needs of students.

Mercer Street Friends is the lead agency for the Community School initiative in the Trenton Public School District.

As part of the Reading Intervention program, reading interventionists meet with small groups of Trenton students four times per week for 30 minutes where they concentrate on phonetics in first and second grades. After, the interventionists move onto reading comprehension, working on reading skills, inferencing, predicting and character traits. In third and fourth grades, the program focuses on reading skills such as cause and effect, sequencing and higher order thinking questions for comprehension.

In addition to Luis Muñoz-Rivera Elementary School, Mercer Street Friends partners with two other Trenton-based Community Schools: B.C. Gregory Elementary School, where the organization provides site coordinators, case managers and reading interventionists, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, providing site coordinators and case managers.

Mercer Street Friends also provides comprehensive services to schools, students and families throughout the year, including after-school enrichment and summer programs.

“We are very proud of the reading advancements made by this year’s class of student participants in our Reading Intervention program,” said Bernie Flynn, CEO of Mercer Street Friends. “What could possibly be more rewarding than seeing the look of satisfaction on the faces of students as they read to their parents and family members gathered for the event. Additionally, we are grateful to the New Jersey State Golf Association Youth Foundation, for its incredibly generous gift that will allow us to continue and enhance this important Community Schools initiative.” 

“The Youth Foundation is very enthusiastic to join in the Reading Intervention program. We hope that this Success grant will provide these youngsters with the necessary tools to expand their opportunities and live productive lives,” said Frank O’Brien, Chairman, New Jersey State Golf Association Youth Foundation.

About Mercer Street Friends

As a Quaker-affiliated, nonsectarian 501(c)(3) organization, Mercer Street Friends is dedicated to nourishing minds and bodies, empowering families and communities by providing comprehensive programs to address poverty and the physical and emotional trauma it creates for children, families and the community. Their work is focused on three critical areas: food, families and education. To learn more about Mercer Street Friends, visit

About the New Jersey State Golf Association

Founded in 1900, the New Jersey State Golf Association promotes and preserves the traditions of the game of golf in the State of New Jersey. Today, more than 250 member clubs, courses and organizations represent nearly 65,000 members of the NJSGA. Most importantly, due to the variety and quality of services provided to its member clubs, courses and golfers, the Association continues to grow. The NJSGA is proud of its diverse tournament schedule, which includes 24 State Championships for golfers of varying backgrounds and skill levels. To learn more, visit

About the New Jersey State Golf Association Youth Foundation

The New Jersey State Golf Association Youth Foundation supports deserving youth golf and sports-related programs throughout the state of New Jersey. This support is provided through grants and instructional clinics, as well as recognition through NJSGA publications and events. To learn more, visit


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