Got a great idea to help poor children in our area learn to read and write? We’ve got $100,000 with your organization’s name on it.
Since the invention of Sumerian cuneiform more than 5,000 years ago, reading and writing have remained two of the most transformative skills available to human beings and the written word itself every modern civilization’s most fundamental piece of technology.
On a less grandiose, historical level, teaching children strong literacy skills in their first three years of life is one of the best ways to promote early brain development and lifelong learning habits. Families in poverty disproportionately lack access to the literacy skills and support that could help them provide their children with these fundamental skills and, in time, help those children lead entire communities into better futures.
WCPO wants to do something about that. We’re partnering with the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to provide a $100,000 grant to a local nonprofit that supports family literacy in our area’s underserved neighborhoods.
The grant will be awarded to a single nonprofit that brings books and other literacy resources to local neighborhoods in need, whether through programs that keep kids supplied with books during the summer, supplement literacy outreach throughout the school year or equip toddlers with their first books.
In order to be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Focus on literacy skills of children from birth through third grade, or a subset of that age range.
- Empower parents with skills, confidence and tools to help develop their children’s reading skills.
- Understand the needs of families living in poverty and ensure access to programming by bringing resources to the community or offering transportation solutions.
- Provide quantitative and qualitative measurement outcomes for both parents and children.
- Illustrate prior program success or how new programs are based on successful models.
- Demonstrate the ability to sustain the program at the end of the grant period.
- Must be a nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status that serves children (birth through pre-K) and their families living in poverty in Hamilton, Clermont, Butler or Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Kenton or Campbell counties in Kentucky; or Dearborn county in Indiana.
- The nonprofit may not be a grant-making agency.
Anyone interested in applying should do so here by Jan. 22, 2019.
Ten applicants will advance to a second round of consideration in February, and three semi-finalists will be selected for a third by March 11.
The winner will be announced April 18 during the 66th Annual Scripps Howard Awards show at Memorial Hall.