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Cleveland McDonald's franchise owner sets up program to help students improve reading skills

Posted: 7:04 AM, Feb 16, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-16 10:57:19-05

A happy meal and a diploma, that's the goal of one McDonald's franchise owner for a few neighborhood kids.

Our E-team bringing you stories about the things you care about, and community reporter Lauren Wilson tells us about this grassroots idea, aiming to make a difference for young students.
 
They're nourishing the mind and tummy! Franchise owner Geoffry Ledwidge and his wife, Peaches Ledwidge told me it's an idea aimed to help improve young kid's ability to read so that they can meet Ohio's third-grade reading level standards.
 
Every Wednesday, at each of their three McDonald's locations on Cleveland's east side, they started McFreedom Readers. 
 
It's a time where second graders come after school and get tutored on how to read from local volunteers, and while they work, they're provided a free happy meal.
 
Tah'Jirae Isaac, a second-grader at Superior Elementary School, said her favorite part is knowing she's able to work toward her goal of being a doctor one day.
 
"I think that they are helping us so we can get better and better, so when we go, when we go across the stage we can have a diploma," she said.
 
Danny Williams, Volunteer and Site Coordinator of the program at the Eddy Road and Euclid location says he finds it most rewarding when he can see the impact they're making.
 
"It's so heartwarming to see their little eyes light up when they actually get it, that's my favorite part."
 
The number of kids involved in the program fluctuates week to week. Geoffrey and his wife said they're hoping for at least 15 to 20 kids consistently by next year. This is the first year they've started this program.