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Foundation 65 says it will provide more than $180,000 to fund literacy and arts programming for School District 65 students in the 2012-2013 school year. One new initiative this year is the Child-Parent Center Expansion, a program designed to provide intensive and continuous educational and family-support services for pre-K to third-grade children in low-income families and high-poverty neighborhoods. The goal of the program is to promote school readiness, parent involvement and early school achievement, which have long-term positive effects on achievement, graduation and career success.

The Child Parent Center program will begin to be implemented this fall and is a collaborative effort between District 65, the University of Minnesota Department of Education, as well as a number of local organizations including Foundation 65.

In addition, Foundation 65 will make one-year grants to four local organizations: the Mary and Leigh Block Museum, Striding Lion, Music Institute of Chicago and the Musical Offering. These organizations will provide unique arts and literacy opportunities for students throughout the district.

Foundation 65 will continue to aid students and teachers throughout District 65 with support to the following ongoing programs:

• Advancing Literacy for ALL – The goal is to increase students’ ability to read and understand complex nonfiction text and to better prepare students for the challenge of successful learning in high school.

• Family Author Experience – This program brings a selected children’s author to District 65 schools and creates a shared family, school-wide and community experience.

• Kindergarten Literacy Education at Play – This program supports early literacy skills and is designed to encourage creative thinking so that students of all levels can learn, participate and ultimately, benefit.

• Kindergarten Library Tours – This program introduces and orients new readers to the library and its staff to establish comfort and familiarity with all the library has to offer.

Summer Reading Program – This program supports summer reading growth by providing books to first grade students who have received supplementary reading support in first grade.

Since 2003, Foundation 65 has invested more than $1 million in projects to provide a richer educational experience for all students in the District 65 community. Foundation 65 is a non-profit organization with its own volunteer board.