With a new name and an expanded customer base, the vision of Literacy Partners, based in Menlo Park, is now helping children and adults in the wider community to improve their reading, writing and education skills.
The association, which until July 2020 was called Project Read, previously only supported the Menlo Park Library tutoring program. It now offers grants to other organizations that promote literacy.
In 2018, the town of Menlo Park doubled its annual support for the Project Read program from $ 55,000 to $ 110,000, according to a September 2020 letter from Literacy Partners. With the increase in funding, the nonprofit no longer needed to focus solely on Project Read. City funds are funding the Project Read adult literacy program, but there was still a need for larger resources to support community literacy, according to the nonprofit. These include services for young people and enrichment programs for families outside the Read project.
Students are in dire need of academic support after more than a year of distance learning school during the pandemic, said John Schniedwind, board member and treasurer of Literacy Partners. These programs also help students hone skills that might have gotten rusty while they were learning at home.
âI think like many or even most of us, our recipients have spoken of the pandemic as a moving target that complicates and, through isolation, can hamper progress toward the educational goals they continue to pursue. ‘trying to achieve,’ said the president of Literacy Partners. Mike Goodkind. âWhen we look at funding requests, we try to assess what may be needed immediately to help people get through the pandemic, to advance education. But we never lose sight of the need to support programs in the future. their efforts to anticipate their success beyond the pandemic. “
Literacy Partners is also one of the beneficiaries of the Almanac Vacation Fund. Since The Almanac and its partner, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, cover all administrative costs, every dollar raised goes directly to this year’s 10 nonprofits. Donations to the Holiday Fund can be made here.
Literacy Partners will provide approximately $ 140,000 in committed grants to groups like Ravenswood Classroom Partners ($ 5,000), East Palo Alto Kids Foundation ($ 15,000 to support 20 teachers and over 500 students) and StreetCode Academy ($ 50,000) in fiscal year 2021. Approximately $ 40,000 of its funds are set aside to reorganize the library tutoring program space.
âWe want to make sure kids have great opportunities in the Silicon Valley community,â Goodkind said.
JobTrain, which received a $ 30,000 grant from Literacy Partners, helps entrepreneurs like housekeepers or landscapers learn tech skills like sending a project quote or receipt digitally. to a customer, Goodkind said. They also help businesses market themselves on social media.
By working with Literacy Partners, recipients are also introduced to similar programs, helping them learn from each other.
Next year, the nonprofit plans to start offering individual scholarships and offer more grants, Goodkind said.
It also recruits board members and volunteers that it can send to the organizations it supports.
For more information on literacy partners, click here.