CINCINNATI -- Fourteen local nonprofits are now in the running for a total of $150,000 in grants to support childhood literacy initiatives in impoverished neighborhoods in the Tri-State.
Earlier this year, Scripps Howard Foundation, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and WCPO 9 On Your Side invited local nonprofits to apply for a single $100,000 grant to promote family literacy. The organizations will announce three finalists on March 14 and the winner of the $100,000 grant on April 12.
Upon hearing of the funders’ support for childhood literacy, Duke Energy Foundation stepped forward to offer $50,000 to fund a $25,000 grant to each of the two runner-up organizations.
The top winning organization will be announced during the Scripps Howard Awards, the prestigious annual journalism recognition program presented by Scripps Howard Foundation at The Aronoff Center for the Arts on April 12.
“Duke Energy is proud to partner with Scripps Howard Foundation and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation to ensure children’s literacy remains a top priority in Greater Cincinnati,” said Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “Giving students the tools they need at a young age is critical to their academic success.”
Interested nonprofits submitted their letters of intent earlier this month. Representatives from each funding organization reviewed those forms and narrowed the field to 14. The selected nonprofits have until March 3 to submit a full grant application. They include:
- 4-C for Children for Kaleidoscope® Play & Learn
- Beech Acres Parenting Center for Family Literacy Program
- Boone County Success-By-6 for Boone County FLIPs for Early Learning (FLIPs = Family Literacy Involvement Project)
- Children, Inc. for Rx for Success
- Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center for Greater Cincinnati Reach Out and Read Coalition
- Clermont County Chamber of Commerce Foundation for KLiCWow
- Dayton Independent Schools for Readers are Leaders
- Learning Through Art, Inc. for Books Alive! For Kids® Family Literacy Program
- Middletown Community Foundation for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
- Northern Kentucky Education Council for One to One: Parents as Partners
- Princeton City School District for Princeton Book Mobile Center
- The Children's Home of Cincinnati, Inc. for SPARK: Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids
- The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Foundation for Library Family Literacy Outreach Program
- YWCA of Greater Cincinnati Inc. for HIPPY Expansion: Lifting Families out of Poverty
“Thanks to our friends at Duke Energy Foundation, we will be able to make an even greater impact on childhood literacy in our local communities,” said Liz Carter, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “With the additional funds, we can reach more families. The organizations invited to apply are teaching parents how to work one-on-one with their children to encourage reading and bolster their vocabulary, both of which are fundamental in supporting their education.”
Studies show education is a key pathway out of poverty.
“The Duke Energy Foundation’s addition to this project is a great example of organizations working together to solve some of our community’s biggest challenges,” said Ellen M. Katz, president and CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “This will give us the opportunity to have a greater impact on childhood literacy rates and to create pathways to success for our city’s most vulnerable young people.”
By empowering children with reading skills, the grant recipients can help them to escape the cycle of poverty that can plague generations of families.
WCPO.com will livestream the Scripps Howard Awards show on its website from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on April 12.