Foundation 65 will provide more than $200,000 to fund literacy and arts programming for District 65 students in 2013-2014. Through its funded programs, Foundation 65 is attempting to make a real impact on children in the District, narrowing the achievement gap, improving literacy skills and increasing students’ awareness and interest in the arts.
In addition to many of Foundation 65’s ongoing programs, it will continue its support of the Child-Parent Center as it expands into year two. This program is designed to provide intensive and continuous educational and family-support services for pre-K to third-grade children in low-income families. 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.
Additionally, Foundation 65 will provide one-year grants to LakeDance, Lincoln School PTA, Mudlark Theater Company, Music Institute of Chicago and Changing Worlds. These local organizations will provide unique arts and literacy opportunities for students throughout the District.
Foundation 65 will continue to support the students and teachers throughout District 65 with its ongoing signature programs:
Advancing Literacy for ALL (also known as PRC2): The purpose of this project is to increase content literacy through improved instruction and a greater array of materials related to science and social studies topics. Ultimately, the goal is to increase fourth- through eighth-grade students’ ability to read and understand complex nonfiction text and to better prepare students for the challenge of successful learning in high school. Due to the positive impact this program has had on student achievement, Advancing Literacy for ALL has expanded from a pilot program at two schools to every school in the district.
Summer Reading Program: This program, led by Reading Recovery teacher Linda Shusterman, supports summer reading growth by providing books to first grade students who have received supplementary reading support in first grade. This program has shown incredible results. Since the program began, over 90% of the participating students were able to maintain or increase their reading levels over the summer – and nearly half actually increased their reading levels. This benefits the entire class as teachers can pick up where they left off in June.
Family Author Experience: This program brings a selected children’s author to D65 schools and creates a shared family, school-wide and community experience. By reading works from the same author and participating in related school-based activities, the entire school community is united in a unique experience of inquiry and creativity. This year, the program will be hosted at Bessie Rhodes, King Lab, Kingsley, Lincoln, Lincolnwood, Orrington and Walker schools.
Kindergarten Literacy Education at Play: An outreach early literacy program developed by the LEAP team at Evanston Public Library, Kindergarten KEAP gives students the opportunity to learn important literacy and social interaction skills through innovative play scenarios. The 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 partnership with the Evanston Public Library provides funding for all District 65 Kindergarteners to visit the Evanston Public Library and get a library card. This program introduces and orients emergent readers to the Library and its staff to establish comfort and familiarity with all the Library has to offer.
Since 2003, Foundation 65, an independent operating foundation, has invested over $1 million in projects and programs making an impact at every school in the District.