University bets $10 million on poor city's kids

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READING, Pa. (AP) — Public schools in the small Pennsylvania city of Reading (REH'-ding) are plagued by low test scores in reading, math and science, and fewer than 70 percent of its students graduate higher school.

Yet, as another school year gets underway, Reading's Alvernia University is placing a $10 million bet that it can help kids in one of the nation's poorest cities get ready to do college work — and to succeed once they get there.

The first five students selected for the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program have joined Alvernia's freshman class, flush with full-tuition scholarships and plenty of support to help them make the transition from high school to college.

Scholarship student Melisa Rivera says there's "no obstacle" she can't overcome.

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