REAL Newsworthy

Apply to receive a Little Free Library!

April 15, 2020


The Impact Library Package Includes: 
• A fully assembled Library Charter sign with registration number
• Informational toolkit
• A starter collection of books
• A post with mounting block

Little Free Library provides free book exchanges for places where they can have meaningful impact.

These Libraries are made possible by direct donations from individuals and organizations to Little Free Library’s Impact Library Program. Additional funding comes from Little Free Library’s sales and registration revenues.


The REAL Literacy Teaching Award

February 01, 2020

Congratulations to Amanda Bucko!

This award was created by The REAL Program to honor the teachers who make literacy joyful for students in Lynn. Nominations are submitted by children and judged by educators. The $250 teacher prize is crowdfunded from the community on, with an additional $50 class pizza party prize going to the winning nominator student. Find out more here!

The REAL Literacy Teacher Award!

August 31, 2019

REAL wants to recognize Literacy Teachers in Lynn with a cash award! Students of any age are invited to nominate the teacher that inspired them to love reading and writing through a short video. Any student of Lynn schools is eligible to participate, nominating an elementary school teacher. 

Interested in being involved as a donor, partner, or advisor? We want to hear from you! Click the button below for more info!


July 01, 2019

From the Lynn Item, June 28, 2019 (see original article HERE)


LYNN — Reading and Educational Assistance for Learning (REAL) founder Jan Plourde likes to look ahead. She envisions replicating her Atlantic Street program in six other neighborhoods across the city. 

“We have the experience, energy and excitement to do it,” Plourde said. 

The Beverly native drew on her background running a former Learning Tree educational material store and a daycare center to establish REAL in 2013. She used her contacts with Lynn teachers to reach out to parents interested in enhancing their kids’ school experiences with additional reading-based learning. 

Initially located in the former Temple Ahabat Sholom on Ocean Street, REAL moved to board of directors member Brad Payne’s Atlantic Street home in 2017. 

The home’s ornate woodwork contrasts with the bright colors and shelves of children’s books in the first-floor rooms used by REAL. 

REAL’s mission, outlined in its literature, is to improve literacy by providing children with books, homework assistance, and “just plain healthy fun.” 

The program operates during the fall, from January to May, and from July 15 to August 22. Summer enrollment slots are still open and additional information is available by emailing Plourde at

Amina and Mohamed Hab, who will enter the fourth grade at the Brickett Elementary School this fall, are enrolled in REAL’s summer session. Amina said playing games with the program’s teachers will sustain her interest in her favorite subjects over the summer.

“I like everything but science and animals the best,” she said. 

One goal Plourde set for REAL was to give college students like Tammie Lugo and her daughter Delilah Lugo an opportunity to work with children.

Tammie is studying early childhood development at North Shore Community College (NSCC) and Delilah is earning a degree at Gordon College in Spanish and linguistics.

“This is one of the only programs I heard about that involved working with children,” said Tammie. “It’s very exciting to have a preschool start here in the fall. I’ll be able to do work study.”

Delilah said the one-way observation window looking onto one of the REAL classrooms allows teachers to observe how students interact with one another and with teachers.

“What is interesting to me is childhood development when it comes to language,” Delilah Lugo said.

Plourde taught one of the classes Raisa Ferreras took while earning an associates degree at NSCC. Now engaged in graduate studies at Salem State University, Ferraras is overseeing second-language learning at REAL.

The job is near to her heart: She could not speak English came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic as a teenager.

“I knew I wanted to teach and I realized REAL was all I wanted,” she said. 

Parents pay 10 dollars a day for the children to attend REAL. Plourde said private donations and money raised at the program’s October fundraiser help pay the bills.

REAL has also benefited from donations of time and skills, including RAW Art Works “Good2Go” initiative which sent teenage artists to Atlantic Street to create “Squiddy the Octopus” in the home’s front yard.

“I work pretty hard to make sure we collaborate with other groups,” Plourde said.

We're doing it again! Pizzeria UNO Dough Rai$er on July 25th!

July 11, 2019

Come to our dough raiser on July 25th, for take out or dining in. Just don't forget to present this flyer to your server!

Bring Your Appetite and Your Flyer* on May 30th!

May 20, 2019

Have your dinner out and help the REAL Program! Prince Pizzeria will donate 15% of your meal purchase to REAL when you order between 4pm and 8pm on May 30th! Come out to 517 Broadway (Route 1) in Saugus and join us! Don't forget to present your flyer!

A REAL Dough Raiser, coming March 5th!

February 21, 2019

Come to our “Dough Raiser” on March 5th at the Swampscott UNO restaurant!


Bring this Dough Raiser ticket with you on March 5th. When you present the ticket to your server a portion of your check will be donated to for REAL.  If you don’t want to print it, it is valid to show the ticket on your cell phone. 

Please note that purchases of gift cards are not included in the fundraiser total.  Tickets are valid in the restaurant as well as for take-out and catering (see catering menu here). Tickets are also valid in the bar. You can participate any time on March 5th, until closing!

Go to the facebook event page for more info.




Swampscott UNO

970 Paradise Road

Swampscott, MA 01907


English Classes for Adults!

January 25, 2019

English Classes for Adults begin on

Monday, January 28th

Classes are limited to 6 students

All classes are held at 17 Atlantic Street, Lynn


Beginner ESL

Instructors: Mary Klug and Sandra Howland 

Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00-4:30 (8 weeks)

1/28-3/27 ( 2 times per week with break for Feb vacation)

$120.00 per 8 week session

To register: Call 978-993-4425


Beginner ESL

Instructor: Raisa Ferreras

Mondays from 6:00-7:30 and Saturdays from 9:00-10:30

1/28-3/30 (2 times per week with break for Feb vacation)

$120.00 per 8 week session

To register: Call 978-993-4425


Elementary ESL

Instructor: Rosemary White

Tuesdays from 3:00-4:30 and Saturdays from 11:00-12:30

1/29-3/30 (2 times per week with break for Feb vacation)

$120.00 per 8 week session

To register: Call 978-993-4425

Start the new year with pizza on January 8th!

January 01, 2019

Hungry for some delicious Flatbread pizza? Hold your appetite until Tuesday, January 8th, when a portion of all flatbreads will be donated to The REAL Program! Join us at:

311 Derby St., Salem, MA

REAL Auction Items You'll Love!

October 16, 2018

It's going to be the best REAL NIGHT OUT yet! And with live auction items like these, you don't want to miss it:

West Beach Party for 20!

Hors d’oeuvres, dinner and dessert for 20 prepared and served on beautiful West Beach in Beverly Farms next summer! Just BYO friends, beach chairs and beverages, Leslie Leathersich will do the rest!


Relaxing week at CORAL SANDS RESORTS in Hilton Head, SC!

2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6, 2 Full Baths, Washer/dryer, high speed internet, hair dyer, Dvd player, TV, pools, jacuzzi/hot tubs, fitness center and poolside bar!



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The REAL (Reading and Educational Assistance for Learning) Program's mission is to improve literacy in Lynn, Massachusetts.

The REAL Program is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 
Donate or volunteer today!

The REAL Program, Inc.

Payne Family Literacy House
17 Atlantic Street • Lynn, MA 01902

Director: Jan Plourde • 978-993-4425 •

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