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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s coffee for a cause as a local dad is brewing up a plan to help children who need a little help with their education.
They churn out drink after drink at Anthony’s Italian Coffee and Chocolate House in the Italian Market, but owner Anthony Anastasio is also steeping in ideas of how to give back to the community that has supported his family’s shop for generations.
“We knew there were so many children locally and even nationally that really needed the help,” said Anastasio.
He decided to create a special roast of Coffee for a Cause. Studies show 20 percent of U.S. kids have dyslexia. Twenty percent of proceeds from Coffee for a Cause goes towards buying a learning program for students.
That 20 percent of dyslexic students includes his fifth-grade daughter, Alessia.
“First we’d see B’s and D’s being written backwards,” said Anastasio. “It’s about the decoding and encoding part that we noticed.”
When reading in class, Alessia now uses an iPad app which helps her follow along with the text using an audiobook.
“I turn it on, go in the app and press play,” said Alessia. “It’s really easier and made me read a lot faster.”
Anastasio says the learning program is a supplement to reading lessons – not a replacement or a crutch — and he wanted to make it accessible to 100 more students.
“When we discovered there were so many families, children who couldn’t afford $135 a year, if we could find a way to give back and help those students, we felt it was a win-win,” said Anastasio.
It’s the perfect blend of community and conviction.
“It’s hard work, determination, support. You’re not alone. We’re with you and we can get through this all together,” said Anastasio.